Dental Myths - and the Facts

December 17, 2017

A great many people avoid going to the dentist due to fear and anxiety, often due to past experiences or horror stories they have heard from friends and relatives. Here we bust some of the most common myths in dentistry and present to you the true facts of the matter.

Myth 1: Removing teeth, especially upper teeth affects vision or the brain.

Fact: There is no direct connection between the nerves supplying the eyes or brain and those supplying the teeth. Removing a tooth does not cause eye trouble or brain damage. Ask yourself, how many people have you actually MET who've had eye issues after extraction?

Myth 2: Regular cleaning of teeth weakens the tooth/enamel

Fact: Regular professional cleaning is what keeps your teeth healthy and in good condition. Plaque and calculus build up, which is usually painless, is the root cause of teeth becoming mobile and having to be removed. If you have not got a professional cleaning done for a long time, the sizeable calculus accumulation will lead to gum infection and bone loss.

Myth 3: Children's teeth don't need to be treated since they will fall out anyway

Fact: Maintaining proper oral hygiene for milk teeth is essential for the healthy eruption of permanent teeth. It's also a good idea to teach your child good oral hygiene practices so they hold her in good stead later in life. It is recommended that a child have her first dental visit by age one to be examined and recieve professional advice on how to care for the baby teeth.

Myth 4: The harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be

Fact: Overbrushing can lead to wearing out of the teeth at the gumline, leading to an unpleasant sharp stinging sensation, especially when having cold and sour food or drinks. Overbrushing generally occurs in two ways: either using too much force while brushing, or brushing for too long. A gentle up-and-down brushing motion is best, and two to three minutes is sufficient.

Myth 5: All dental treatment is to be avoided during pregnancy

Fact: Although surgeries are best avoided, regular cleaning and filling procedures can be done during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. Elevated progesterone levels during pregnancy cause a woman's gums to become red, tender and swollen and bleed easily. Changed eating habits may mean more risk of cavities. A routine examination around the 4th month of pregnancy is recommended to ensure the mouth remains healthy all through pregnancy.

Myth 6: Brushing just before I visit the dentist will hide the fact that I have not been brushing regularly

Fact: If you have not been maintaining good oral hygeine practices, your dentist will be able to spot it at once. The red spongy gums and/or cavities will be a dead giveaway. That said, it's a courtesy to your dentist to brush before your dental appointment.

Myth 7: You will lose teeth as you grow older

Fact: Advances in dental technologies and materials are ensuring that your teeth will last you a lifetime. Also,the growing awareness about dental hygiene is making people take better care of their teeth. Your teeth are designed to last as long as you do!

Myth 8: Flossing is harmful

Fact: On the contrary, flossing is the best thing you can do for your teeth, since it cleans those areas that your brush cannot reach. Be gentle with the flossing - always look in a mirror while flossing to make sure you are doing it right, and ensure that the gums don't bleed.

Myth 9: I am not in any pain, so I don't need to visit the dentist

Fact: This is probably the single biggest dental lie out there - even if you have dental issues, they will not always manifest as pain. Initial dental caries or gum disease is unlikely to hurt, but a regular 6-monthly visit to the dentist will enable him to spot the issues and nip the problem in the bud.

Myth 10: Root canals are painful and take multiple sittings.

Fact: Due to technological advances,most root canal treatments can now be completed in a single, painless visit.
You can always ask your dentist for local anesthesia if you're expereincing discomfort during the procedure or feeling anxious about experiencing pain.

Dental myths may prevent a person from taking proper care of their teeth, in turn leading to bigger dental problems. Visiting your family dentist twice a year will ensure that your teeth are well taken care of. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have or myths you’ve heard so he can clear them up for you.

Wishing all the readers of daijiworld a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2018!


Dr Bennet Anchan Archives:



By Dr Bennet Anchan
Dr Bennet Anchan is a highly-regarded and popular dental surgeon of Mangaluru. After graduating from one of India's most prestigious dental institutions, he has been creating beautiful smiles for the last decade and half. He can be reached at and +91 9343351611.
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Comment on this article

  • Dr Bennet Anchan, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 26 2017

    @ Bengalurian:
    Implant supported dentures are the latest and most long lasting method to replace all the missing teeth in the mouth. Like you've been informed,there are two kinds (ones that are fixed in the mouth,and the other kind that are removable) and the cost is right too.
    Though I cannot put a time frame on the increased span of life,I can assure that quality of life is substantially improved by maintaining good oral hygiene. Flossing is definitely recommended since it cleans those areas of the mouth that the toothbrush cannot reach.
    It has been well documented that the germs that cause gum disease are some of the same ones that are involved in heart disease,so a healthy mouth goes a long way in ensuring a healthy heart!
    Getting missing teeth replaced makes sure that your aesthetics and clear speech are restored (thereby also your confidence) and also allows you to eat a balanced and nutritious diet,which in turn leads to good health and high levels of energy required to get through your day.

  • Dr Bennet Anchan, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 26 2017

    @ Rita:
    Thank you for writing in; yes,diabetes has a direct correlation with dental health. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to infection of the gums and bone dissolution leading to the teeth becoming loose, and also gives rise to a typically fruity bad breath odour.
    Infact, a dentist can diagnose previously undetected diabetes through loose teeth and bad breath,and refer the patient for the necessary diagnostic tests.
    I'm sorry to know about your unhappy experiences with dentists previously,but that doesnt have to be the case any more- dentistry has rapidly evolved and grown so treatment outcomes are now predictably good and last for a reliably long time.

  • Dr Bennet Anchan, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 26 2017

    Hello Chris,
    It's great that you're brushing regularly and flossing twice a day-the effort you're putting in now to maintain good oral hygiene will definitely pay off in the long run.
    The impacted wisdom tooth and cyst will need to be removed at the earliest to prevent pain and infection later on.
    Dental surgeries are different from medical surgeries in that they're relatively minor,do not take a long time and are done under local anesthesia in the clinic itself.
    I would recommend that you schedule an appointment with the dentist and oral surgeon at your earliest convenience and get the procedure done,especially since there is nothing to be gained by delaying the minor surgery.
    I hope this helps,
    Dr Bennet.

  • Bengalurian, Bengaluru

    Mon, Dec 25 2017

    Doctor, I would like to know more about Dental Implant (All teeth). I heard some of the Bollywood actors have done it. I also heard there are 2 types & one costs around ₹3 Lakhs while the other around ₹6 Lakhs. Also heard from one of the dentist that people can live around 10 years longer if they floss, go to the dentist regularly & or if they do total dental implant. What's your opinion on this?

  • Rita, Germany

    Mon, Dec 25 2017

    Dear Dr.Anchan,thank you for your dental myths.I heard that diabetic too has much to do with bad teeth and mouth smellIs it true? .Even though I was brushing teeth regularly,unfortunately my teeth had problems and a regular visitor by dentists .Very late I came to know about diabetis which no doctor could diagnose earlier.(D1)may be many people dont knw about this and please enlighten about this.Many teeth were with amalgam filled ,and I have really bad experience with dentists.

  • Chris emmanuel, Canada

    Sun, Dec 24 2017

    Had been to dentist last month for cleaning. The dentist had no issues with my teeth , but highlighted that my gums need to be taken care of. She suggested regular flossing before bed. However, after xray she spotted a small cyst at my wisdom tooth, and suggested me for a oral surgery to remove wisdom tooth as well as cyst. I do brush and floss twice a day and am trying hard to keep my teeth in good condition. Is the surgery necessary or should i wait?

  • Dr Bennet Anchan, Mangalore

    Sat, Dec 23 2017

    Thank you Elizabeth and Santosh for your kind words.
    @ Dev: Yes I will try and clear up misconceptions about root canal treatments and other treatment options in a subsequent article.

  • Elizabeth D'Souza, Mudarangady / Dubai

    Thu, Dec 21 2017

    Thu, Dec 21 2017
    Dear Dr. Bennet Anchan, Thank You so much for your article which is truly give more detail insight to know what should we do and don't..
    It depends on the dentist whom we visit and the way they take care of the teeth and advise. Still itis very important to know how to take care of our teeth and if spoiled how to correct and maintain them.
    God willing, my next visit to Mangalore, I would like to visit you.

    Wish You and Family a 'MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018"!

  • Santosh Kumar, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 21 2017

    A very informative article, providing simple dos and don'ts, which a common person can understand. Thank you.

  • Dev, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 19 2017

    Thank you doctor for your reply with right perspective.
    I am blessed with perfect teeth with no cavities or any problems modern food causes as I used to brush twice a day after I visited a dentist for the first time in my teens to clean my teeth, he was happy to see my perfect teeth & said make a dentist your friend & visit once in 6 months.
    Thanks to my ancestors & the use of charcoal with salt at tender age on alternative days with paste preserved my teeth till today.
    What I wanted to know is presently put forward by qualified doctors with experience, my family members have gone through root canals & I want more insight into the issues in your next article, so that these myths are taken away too.

  • Dr Bennet Anchan, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 19 2017

    Hello Dev,
    Thank you for your suggestion; to answer your question,the old adage still holds good : "Prevention is better than cure". The way to do this is to ensure you follow good oral hygiene procedures and get a professional check-up every 6 months.
    Amalgam restorations are passe now-there are much better materials currently available. I have not come across scientific or anecdotal evidence to show that root canal treatment causes systemic diseases.
    It is vital that a patient talks to his dentist to understand the what,why and how of dental disease as well as treatment options,so that he can make the best informed choice.There is a lot of half-knowledge/ misinformation around,which can be detrimental to the quality of the patient's decision making.

  • Dev, Mangalore

    Mon, Dec 18 2017

    Doctor will you please shed more light on the alternative options or the methods which are less harmful for the health of clients about avoiding "amalgam fillings" or root canals are root cause of many other diseases like heart ailments, kidney stones or bad knee joints, though not substantiated with comprehensive research, in your next article?
    I got these insights by listening to many doctors who are now veering towards alternative therapies with less or no side effects while warning us about the dangers of modern or present treatments with hidden side effects. They are not against all modern medicines "per se" just like our Dr B M Hegde.

  • JRD, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 17 2017

    The best option to maintain your teeth is to follow the simple ago old Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling. Google to know more on the immense benefits.

    First thing in the morning before putting anything in your mouth, take a tablespoon of sesame seed oil (coconut, olive, mustard oil can be used) and keep swishing it for around 15 - 20 minutes.

    Throw the contents (oil turns to white foam) and rinse your mouth with warm salt water.

    Brush your teeth as usual.

    Additionally, you can drink 3 glasses of hot water.

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