At our dental office, we love answering questions from our patients. Some of the most common questions are linked to common misconceptions, like “mouth taping is dangerous”, and “you won’t get cavities if you avoid eating candy”.

Yes, we know that there can be a blurry line between truth and fiction when it comes to dental health. Some facts are not black and white, either. That’s why we gathered some of the most common “myths” about dental care that we hear at our practice to give you some answers and help you take the best care of your teeth.

We hope you find them useful!

Myth #1: Mouth taping is dangerous

Mouth taping is exactly what it sounds like. It consists of placing a porous piece of tape on the lips to seal the mouth and facilitate nose-breathing while you sleep.

Although some people believe that mouth taping is dangerous, this simple treatment has been beneficial to many patients who suffer from snoring and even mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). By stimulating breathing through the nose, mouth tapping helps reduce the negative effects of mouth-breathing, like dry mouth, snoring, and bad breath. However, it can sometimes be hard to adjust to it if you are used to breathing through the mouth, and just takes time to get used to the sensation of having the mouth taped. Some of our patients at Timberhill Dental have found great relief from mouth taping.

If you are considering mouth taping as a treatment for snoring, or you think you might suffer from OSA, talk to your dentist first. If you are located near the Corvallis area in Oregon, our team at Timberhill Dental will be happy to answer your questions!

Myth #2: Dental pain will go away on its own

This is another one where there’s no yes/no answer. The truth is, there are different types of toothaches — and some are more serious than others.

If you feel pain around the tooth, it may be caused by a temporary gum irritation, which you can easily treat at home — and eventually, it will go away on its own. However, if your pain comes from within the tooth, it may indicate a serious dental problem that needs to be addressed by a dentist as soon as possible.

Inside your tooth resides the dental pulp, which contains blood vessels and highly-sensitive nerves. When these nerves get infected, damaged, or exposed as a result of tooth decay, they can produce severe pain.

Causes of severe toothache include:

  • Cavities
  • Abscess
  • Infection of the pulp
  • Fractured tooth
  • Eruption of a tooth
  • Gum disease

If you are experiencing a toothache that lasts more than 2 days and comes with other symptoms like fever and swelling, seek professional help as soon as possible. Our dentists in Corvallis can help you treat whatever is causing your pain. Call us at (541) 207-0105 to get the help that you need!

Myth #3: Only sweets cause cavities

Many people think that they can avoid getting cavities just by staying away from candy. Although eating a balanced diet can be beneficial to both your oral and overall health, avoiding candy won’t guarantee that you won’t get cavities.

Cavities are not caused by candy itself, but by bacteria. When you eat sugars and other carbs, the bacteria on your teeth consume these ingredients. Then, their waste products slowly damage the tooth structure, leading to tooth decay and the formation of holes (cavities). The good news is that you can stop this process just by maintaining good dental hygiene habits and practicing healthy eating strategies. The staff at Timberhill Dental are happy to review your dietary concerns!

So don’t throw away your favorite sweets just yet. Just remember to brush and floss daily and don’t skip your dental cleanings! Which takes us to the next myth…

Myth #4: You don’t need to go to the dentist

Yes, you do. Even if you are not in pain right now and brush/floss your teeth every day, you could still develop certain dental issues without even noticing.

When you skip your dental cleanings at the dentist’s office, plaque slowly builds up over and under your gum line, which can lead to gum disease (gingivitis). The first stages of gum disease are usually silent, which is why you may not notice anything until it is too late.

Visiting the dentist every few months allows your dentist to identify and treat potential problems before they become serious, including gingivitis, cavities, and even mouth cancer.

A good rule of thumb is to see your dentist every 6 months for exams and checkups. However, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits if there’s a situation that requires special care.

Myth #5: Flossing isn’t necessary

Flossing every day is essential to maintaining good dental health. It helps eliminate plaque from within your teeth, which reduces your risk of developing gum disease in the future.

Flossing also helps reduce bad breath and decreases your risk of developing cavities. You don’t need to floss after every meal — doing it once a day will be enough to prevent the formation of tartar (Pro-Tip: if you floss once per day, the evening is the best).

Want to learn more?

Taking care of your dental health is easy when you have a good dentist who understands you and is eager to answer all your questions. At Timberhill Dental, we love doing just that.

If you have any other questions about dental health, our team is here for you. Contact us to learn how to take the best care of your teeth and enjoy a healthy smile!

Schedule your appointment at Timberhill Dental today by calling (541) 207-0105 or by contacting our office online.