Our examination of common dentistry myths concludes with the truth behind several more legends.

Myth: Excellent oral hygiene can be inherited.
Status: Mostly false. Your oral hygiene is in your hands. Only regular brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash and other oral hygiene tools can keep your teeth, gums, and whole mouth in good health.

Myth: Eating chocolate leads to cavities and other forms of tooth decay.
Status: False. When in doubt, remember that brushing is the key to good oral health. Eating lots of sweets comes with numerous health problems, but it is failing to brush that results in sugars lying dormant in your mouth, waiting for bacteria to mix with and form plaque. Eat your chocolate, just brush after finishing your snack.

Myth: I do not need to brush as diligently after having my teeth cleaned.
Status: False. Yes, teeth cleanings go a long way in improving your oral hygiene, but only temporarily. A cleaning will not do much good if you decide not to brush regularly for days or weeks after. Always brush regularly no matter when you received your last cleaning.

Myth: Pregnant women should avoid most dental procedures.
Status: False. Pregnant women can undergo most procedures, but there are some, such as x-rays, that should be avoided. If you become pregnant, notify your dentist of your condition ahead of and during your next appointment so that alternate methods can be used for certain procedures should you require them.
Perhaps no medical professional is more feared than the dentist, primarily because people worry that procedures needed to improve oral hygiene will cause pain. In this two-part article, we discuss and prove or disprove common dental myths.

Myth: Sugarless gum is a good substitute for brushing.
Status: True, but only to a point. You can chew sugarless gum to improve your breath and receive some moderate cleaning benefit, but nothing substitutes for proper brushing. Chew the gum in a pinch, but definitely brush when you can.

Myth: My gums only bleed if I brush too hard.
Status: False. Bleeding gums might indicate some type of gum disease. Immediately contact your dentist if you notice persistent bleeding from your gums.

Myth: I should not brush my teeth if my gums bleed.
Status: False. Again, you should contact your dentist immediately for counsel, but you can brush your teeth if you feel you must. Make sure to use a soft toothbrush and go over your gums lightly so as not to worsen the bleeding.