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It’s normal to get anxious about dental work. In fact, the Depart of Health and Human Services reported that 4.3 percent of Americans don’t go to the dentist because they are so afraid. Many of these fears tend to come from assumptions based upon myths society creates because there is so much uncertainty surrounding dentistry. In reality, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Here are some common myths in the field of dentistry and explanations as to why you should not believe them.

1. Your Parents Had Good Dental Health, So You Don’t Have to Worry About Yours – Genetics do play a role in your dental health, but that does not give you a free pass to not take care of your teeth and hope that they will turn out alright. It is still your responsibility to brush and floss and keep your dental health up to par.

2. Brushing is Bad for Bleeding Gums – At first glance, this myth seems like it could be true. However, when your gums bleed, it means that plaque and food particles have built up along your gum line and the gums have become irritated and inflamed. The brushing you’re doing is removing that plaque and food, so the bleeding is perfectly normal.

3. Bleaching Weakens Teeth – Some people worry that using bleaching products on their teeth can be harmful or weaken their teeth but there really isn’t any basis behind that fear. As long as you use the bleach according to the directions, it is generally harmless.

4. The More Sugar You Eat, the Worse For Your Teeth – It’s not necessarily how much sugar you eat, but how long the sugar is in your mouth. The longer the sugar is in your mouth, the longer the bacteria produces acid and works on the enamel on your teeth. In short, it is actually better to eat four candy bars and brush your teeth directly after finishing them than it is to eat one candy bar without brushing your teeth.

5. Brushing Your Teeth More than Once Per Day Can Harm Your Enamel – Most dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush to avoid being too hard on gums. The goal is to brush at least two times per day, and three times per day if possible.