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If you have a fear of going to the dentist, you are not alone! Nearly 12% of adults in America have dental anxiety. Many other people develop general anxiety when they think about sitting in the chair and hearing that drill whine near their ear. In fact, some people have such a fear of the dentist that they avoid going at all costs. According to a report from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 5% of adults in America do not go to the dentist at all out of fear.

Some people are afraid because they do not know what to expect when they go to the dentist. Others may have a fear after second or third hand stories they have heard from others. Pretty soon these stories can get exaggerated to the point where they become fiction. Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths you may have heard about the dentist.

Placing Aspirin on a Tooth will Relieve Pain

This is an old wives’ tale that professional dentists say is completely false. You should never place aspirin on an aching tooth. That’s like placing aspirin directly on your knee to relieve pain, it does nothing to help. In order to use aspirin as a pain reliever, it must be swallowed as directed.

In fact, placing the aspirin on your tooth could actually do you more harm than good. Doing so may actually cause a sort-of chemical burn on your gums and lips because of the acid in the aspirin. Placing an aspirin on an aching tooth will only cause you more pain in the end!

Bad Breath = Bad Teeth Brusher

While not brushing your teeth properly could cause bad breath, there are more factors at play than just that. Bad breath can also be caused by:

The More Sugar you Consume, the Worse your Teeth will be

How many times have you heard your mother say “don’t eat that, you’ll rot your teeth!”? Well, it turns out that your mother is only partly correct. Indulging in your sweet tooth is not the main issue. Sugary foods do not immediately start rotting your teeth away.

The bacteria in your mouth feeds on the sugar which then turns into an acid that erodes your enamel if it sits too long. Brushing your teeth shortly after eating these foods can help to remove the sugar and remove the acid that the bacteria creates. The sooner you brush after eating, the less likely that sugar will rot your teeth.

Do Not Brush if your Gums are Bleeding

While it seems logical, it is the opposite. When your gums are bleeding that means that they are irritated by food that may be caught in them or by plaque. Brushing your gums will help to remove any irritants which will stop the bleeding.

Whitening your Teeth is Harmful

Bleaching products are harmless for you as long as you follow the instructions as directed. There are a few side effects that could occur. If you bleach your teeth too often, you could strip away the natural pigmentation and leave your teeth a translucent color. It could also leave your gums irritated and your teeth more sensitive but both of those are temporary side effects.

There’s no need to fear the dentist. Call Dr. O’Donnell today if you are looking for a dentist in Centreville VA. We’re happy to help!

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