Most big dental problems begin as little ones.

Whether from poor mouthcare or disease, the major issues often provide hints – bleeding, pain – that something’s wrong with the teeth or gums. Comprehensive exams at regular intervals head many of these off, but sometimes people with dental maladies ignore the warning signs.

Keep these myths in mind as you maintain good oral hygiene by regular brushing, flossing, and checkups.

  • Myth No. 1: Not taking care of your teeth is only a problem for your mouth. This is a terrible error. If you fail to take your oral health seriously, you could face issues far worse than a cavity. Gum inflammation sends bacteria into the bloodstream and can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetic complications, even dementia.
  • Myth No. 2: Brushing harder is brushing better. No, no, no. Brushing too hard or with a brush that’s too firm may erode enamel protecting the inside of the tooth from decay. It can also cause gums to recede. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and take it easy.
  • Myth No. 3: If everything feels fine, no checkup is necessary. Wrong. Dental problems don’t always initially cause pain. By the time they do, your cavity is more serious or you’re early into gum disease.

Keep your mouth healthy and happy! Brush (often, but not with too much vigor), floss and maintain a regimen of regular checkups.