“Health Literacy” is the ability to read, understand and act upon health information. A huge gap exists between the way health care issues are communicated and the ability of most people to understand them.
In honor of Health Literacy Month, we’re helping our readers understand dental health and why it’s important. Here are two common mouth myths debunked:
Myth or Fact: Sugar rots your teeth. Avoid it!
The Truth: Confirmed. Plaque on your teeth LOVE sugar. Plaque eats sugar and releases an acid that erodes your teeth. The news that surprises people is that sugar is a carbohydrate. So in reality, the big bowl of spaghetti you ate for dinner last night has the same effect on your teeth as the ice cream sandwich you had for dessert. Table sugar, however, has no nutritional benefit and should be avoided.
Myth or Fact: If your mouth doesn’t hurt, you don’t need to visit the dentist.
The Truth: In addition to keeping your mouth and gums healthy, dentists are trained to look for slight abnormalities in your mouth that could be a sign of bigger problems. Plaque hardens into tartar which can only be removed by a dental professional.
Your dentist is always the final word on dental health so make sure to tune into what they say. To learn more about Health Literacy Month, visit healthliteracymonth.org