dental no-nos

6 Common Dental No-Nos You Need to Avoid

The Problem With Information Overload

Why Shouldn’t I Do That?

Information overload is the curse of our generation. With the advent of pocket computers, better known as cell phones, finding someone to answer a question is easy. The danger of believing everything that you read is not knowing the writer’s credentials. We engage in activities simply because we read it or our neighbor read it and told us.

Today, I compiled some common mistakes people make by reading a topic online or even in a magazine without knowing the author or their background. I hear about these topics from my readers and patients. I hope that this list of dental no-nos will help you.

6 Dental No-Nos To Avoid

1. Doing ten other things while you brush

Activities bombard us every minute of the day, so it is tempting to brush your teeth while doing other things.  But it’s essential to stand in front of the mirror and watch what you are doing to ensure you brush every single surface and angle of each tooth. If you aren’t distracted, you will be more thorough.

2. Using the web as your dentist

The internet is full of excellent DIY dental tips that can hurt you more than help you. Use ADA-approved products. Don’t try to whiten your teeth by just covering them in peroxide, and don’t try to straighten them by putting rubber bands around them. Don’t make a mistake and think you can learn how to make or fix dentures from all the “tips” that abound. Every case is unique and different, and only years of experience will methodically work through problems.

3. Avoiding X-rays

Many of my patients are worried about radiation exposure from dental x-ray. There was some panic after an old study that said there is a possible link between dental x-rays and brain tumors. That study did not establish the cause of the tumors. We need x-rays to identify conditions we can’t see during a visual exam. You may have a cavity or even a cyst in your jaw. If you are concerned about x-ray exposure, please talk to me to discuss ways to get the most minimal amount. If dental x-rays were a problem, wouldn’t you think that those of us in the dental field would be at a higher risk for issues? The truth is that dentists and their staff show no untoward problems in life from their use.

4. Traveling with a wet toothbrush

Bacteria thrive in wet environments. When you put a wet toothbrush in a travel case, it is crucial to remove it from the case as soon as possible to let it air dry. Placing it upright in a cup will do the trick.

5. Overcleaning your toothbrush

Do you think that running your toothbrush through a cycle in the dishwasher or throwing it in the microwave will zap away all the bacteria? Think again. There is no evidence that anyone has ever gotten sick from their toothbrush. Just rinse it off with water and store it upright, ensuring it doesn’t touch anyone else’s brush. The dishwasher or microwave will damage it.

6. Ignoring your clenching teeth

Bruxism, aka clenching, can lead to headaches, chipped teeth, and jaw soreness. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that grinding is natural. I can make you a nightguard to help protect your teeth. It is easy and comfortable to wear. It will also train your mouth to put less pressure on your jaw.

We’re here for you

There is so much misinformation that is out there for people to read. Always ask a professional before you try or believe something. I will be happy to be that professional for you.

As the end of the year approaches, I receive many phone calls regarding our availability. One of the worst events that can spoil a holiday dinner is a toothache or a broken tooth. I will spend more time in the office during the next two weeks and be available if you need last-minute help. Please feel free to call me at 440.951.7856. I am always excited to talk to my readers.

Jeffrey Gross, DDSFAGD is an Ohio licensed general dentist and is on the staff of Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine.

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