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Top 6 Dental Myths and Misconceptions

Woman puzzling over common dental myths. Dr Lai's presented the following "Dental Myths" to the BNI Power Players group in Houston, TX. If you want some more insights on the Myths of dentistry read the following information and be enlightened. If you have a common myth you want addressed feel free or a pressing dental question, feel free to call us at (281) 940-6960 during operating hours. Don’t let worries or embarrassment keep you from getting the dental care you need.

Dental Myth #1: Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid seeing the dentist.

In fact, this could not be further from the truth. We encourage all women who are either trying to get pregnant, already pregnant, or recently pregnant and nursing to visit their dentist at their regular 6 month intervals, in some cases we may want to see them every three months! There are many changes that occur during pregnancy and many of them can manifest in the mouth. Seeing your dentist during this time will both keep you informed about your health, as well as reduce the need for emergency dental work during pregnancy through proper maintenance.

Dental Myth #2: "My tooth was hurting a lot before, but the pain has gone away. I don't think I need to see the dentist anymore."

Not only is this terrible advice, but ignoring any tooth pain or trying to "push through" the pain can lead to serious health consequences. Many times the severe pain of a tooth is caused by dental caries (or a cavity) that has reached the nerve inside the tooth. As the nerve gets infected, it begins to die which you feel as pain. Once the nerve has died, you will not feel any pain on that tooth. The infection, however, will remain and if left untreated can lead to an abscess, or the infection can spread to other areas of your body such as your sinus, throat, and even heart.
If you experience tooth pain, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Dental Myth #3: "Bad teeth run in the family" -or- "My family doesn't ever get cavities."

Though this statement is partially true, it is not an excuse for poor oral hygiene. There are many different factors that contribute to dental caries (or cavities) and gum disease. Studies have suggested that genetics contribute up to 35-40% of whether or not a person gets cavities. This means that other factors such as diet, oral hygiene, and overall health still contribute a large portion. We recommend all patients to be diligent with their oral home care to reduce the risk of dental caries and gum disease. Along with regular dental visits, thorough cleaning at home and developing proper oral habits will help keep cavities away from even the most unlucky genetic lineage.

Dental Myth #4: Teeth whitening is bad for your teeth.

Teeth whitening or any alterations to how your teeth look involve some risk. It is always best to consult your dentist before you change anything, including whitening. Many over-the-counter or "life hacks" whitening solutions are not fully tested for long term effects. Many whitening products dry out your teeth to make them look a chalky white. This method can be damaging to the nerves inside your teeth and have the highest risk of causing sensitive teeth. Moreso, once your teeth are rehydrated, the whiteness will fade. Other products use an abrasive substance to create a "frosted glass" effect on your teeth. This can lead to excessive erosion of enamel and lead to permanent damage. Chemical whitening, either administered or supervised, by a professional such as a dentist is the safest method of teeth whitening. Your dental professional will be able to select the correct strength that fits your mouth. Many professional products now also incorporate a desensitizing agent to prevent or reduce sensitivity after whitening. With supervision, your dental professional will ensure your whitening process produces the best results with the least amount of risk.

Dental Myth #5: “I'm too old for braces/straight teeth.”

Don't ever let someone tell you that your teeth cant be straight or look the way you want them to. Though the bone around your teeth may be mature and less conducive to tooth movement, there are many different systems and methods no to help adults achieve the smile they've always wanted. Whether it be simple movements with Invisalign, Fast Braces, Six Month Smiles, or Clear Aligners, or more complex full mouth orthodontics, there is a solution for maligned teeth. Alternatively, Dental Veneers and Crowns can also provide a straight smile for many cases. Talk to your dentist about getting your perfect smile!

Dental Myth #6: Root canals are painful.

This common belief couldn't be further from the truth. Root Canals, or more accurately, Root Canal Therapy, is the process where the dentist removes the diseased nerve and bacteria from within the tooth while disinfecting and finally sealing space so that no future infection can occur. During the procedure the area is fully anesthetized so you should not feel anything while the procedure is in progress. Because we are removing the source of infection and pain, you should feel immediate relief after the procedure is complete. Typically only a slight soreness is present for the following hours up to about a day. In contrast, leaving a tooth untreated will lead to more pain in the future and may also lead to a larger infection that can affect your overall health as well as losing a tooth.

Don't put off root canals for fear of pain!

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General and Cosmetic Dentistry

From crowns and bridges to periodontal care and extractions, Justin Lai, DDS offers a wide range of general and cosmetic dental treatments. If you have a dental concern, Dr. Lai will have a solution.

Edge Dental is equipped with digital x-rays, intra-oral cameras and 3-dimensional cone beam imaging to gain the best possible information about patient dental health. This enables Dr. Lai to view teeth, gum tissue and surrounding bone structures in high resolution from all angles. Based on findings, treatment plans are designed to optimize oral health with minimally invasive procedures.

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Dr. Justin Lai
(281) 940-6960
15455 Memorial Drive, Suite 400
Houston, TX 77079
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15455 Memorial Drive, Suite 400
Houston, TX 77079