This Quarter’s Theme: Babies and a Dental Home
Tooth Talk Reveals the Shocking Truth Behind Tooth Health Myths
According to a May 2014 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly half of Americans believe in a medical conspiracy theory, from blaming vaccinations for causing autism to thinking that pharmaceutical companies are blocking FDA release of a cure for cancer. Both are false. However, the research finds that these beliefs can often lead to poor health practices, ultimately affecting overall well-being. Following are some of the top tooth health myths and good answers you can give to parents when they have questions.
MYTH: Fluoride in the public water is a government plot to dispose of industrial waste.
TRUTH: Fluoride is a natural mineral that comes from the element fluorine and is found everywhere on planet Earth. Proven to fight tooth decay, it’s found in soil, water, minerals and foods including seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, tea and gelatin. Research shows that the controlled addition of fluoride to the water supply reduces tooth decay and is fully endorsed by the medical, dental and public health worlds.
MYTH: Pregnancy weakens teeth by taking calcium from them.
TRUTH: According to the HRSA Consensus Report on Oral Health Care for Pregnant Women, it’s actually the stomach acid from morning sickness that affects teeth, softening tooth enamel. Advise moms not to brush right after vomiting; instead, rinse the mouth with either plain water or water with a teaspoon of baking soda in it. Other changes to the mouth during pregnancy may include puffiness, swelling or possible bleeding of the gums. But, these are also signs of gingivitis. Remind pregnant moms that brushing and flossing as well as regular dental appointments are good not only for their health but also for the baby’s health too.
MYTH: Everyone hates going to the dentist.
TRUTH: Actually, the #1 fear is public speaking (followed by dying!). While most people get nervous about going to the dentist, and as many as 20% won’t go due to that anxiety, very few actually experience true dental phobia. Remind parents that the benefits far outweigh the fear. Good dental health is good for a healthy, confident smile; helps in chewing and speaking properly; and contributes to better overall cardiovascular health, including heart health and possible stroke prevention. Plus, children with healthy teeth do better in school, are free from pain, and eat and sleep better.
Want to learn more about that first dental visit for baby and why it’s so important? Click on the link to the video Why Babies Need a Dental Home.