I stumbled across an article by Reader’s Digest Magazine entitled, ’50 Secrets From Real Dentists’, and although I can’t say I agreed with all of the comments, especially the ones promoting amalgam fillings, I did appreciate quite a few of their expressions and I thought I would pass them along to you.

-Dental Misconceptions-

“Some truly educated people think that if nothing in their mouth hurts, they’re fine. High cholesterol doesn’t hurt, either, but it’s a big problem. I honestly think that the general population doesn’t understand that their mouth is part of their body.” -Danine Fresch Gray, DDS, general dentist, Arlington, Virginia

“If your hands bled when you washed them, you’d run to the doctor. But in the public’s mind, bleeding gums are okay. Unless you’re really whaling away with your brush, if your gums bleed even a little, that’s periodontal disease, period.” -Ron Schefdore, DMD, general dentist, Chicago, Illinois

“The advice to see your dentist twice a year applies only if you have healthy gums. Most people don’t.” -Chris Kammer. DDS, cosmetic dentist, Valencia, California

“A mouthwash with alcohol dries out your mouth- you’ll smell nice and minty for a half hour, but then the bad breath comes back worse than ever.” -Gary Herskovits, DDS, family dentist, Brooklyn, New York

“There is a limit to what toothpaste can do. New whitening formula? It can get rid of surface stains, but it can’t whiten like a bleach.” -Careen Young, DDS, prosthodontist, Beverly Hills, California

“I have to extract a lot of baby teeth that are abscessed or heavily decayed. Parents think there is no reason to pay attention to baby teeth because they fall out. But when a tooth comes out prematurely, other teeth crowd in to fill up the space. Without the right treatment, it turns into a mess.” -Paul Hettinger, DMD, general dentist, Orlando, Florida

-Dental Statistics-

“When someone meets you for the first time, the first thing they notice is eyes. Second is teeth and third is hair. But people spend way more money on their hair than their teeth.” -Damain Dachowski, DMD, general dentist, Horsham, Pennsylvania

“Proper oral hygiene requires ten minutes of brushing and flossing every day. The average adult spends two or three minutes total, and kids even worse.” -Joel Slaven, DDS, general dentist, Middleton, Wisconsin

“Kids with dental problems often struggle in school. They’re distracted and easily agitated. Teachers will say they have behavior problems, but they really have toothaches.” -Winifred J. Brooker, DDS, pediatric dentist, Owings Mills, Maryland

“Misaligned teeth can cause migraine headaches. If we can align the teeth and fix the bite, the pain often goes away.” -Mai-Ly Ramirez, DDS, general dentist, San Francisco, California

“The electronic toothbrush is one of the best things ever to happen to dentistry. The newer ones replicate professional cleaning- they won’t reach much below the gum line, but they’re far superior to regular toothbrushes.” -Danine Fresch Gray, DDS

“One of the first signs of diabetes is bleeding gums. I started taking blood samples from all my patients with bleeding gums and bone loss around the teeth and discovered that many of them were diabetic or prediabetic.” -Ron Schefdore, DMD

“The bacteria that cause cavities can be spread from mother to baby through saliva. If you have poor dental health and you taste your baby’s food and then pop the same spoon into his mouth, you’re putting him at risk.” -Mark Helpin, DMD, pediatric dentist, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“I call soda pop the liquid chain saw. It cuts through teeth. And it’s not just the sugar- it’s the acid.” -Chris Kammer, DDS

-Dental Tips-

“I wish people still used the Waterpik [a water-shooting device that was popular in the 1970’s]. Each tooth is surrounded by a putrid, germy moat of saliva. If you replace that moat everyday, you’ll go a long way toward keeping your mouth clean and your gums healthy.” -Chris Kammer, DDS

“I tell nervous patients that we can give them the sedative triazolam an hour before their appointment- they just need to have someone else drive. It works so well that sometimes they don’t remember the appointment.” -Chris Kammer, DDS

“If you want to reduce the bad bacteria in your mouth, you should be all over xylitol [a sugar substitute found in chewing gum]. It changes the chemistry of your mouth. Six or seven pieces of xylitol gum every day will help keep cavities away.” -Chris Krammer, DDS


“A few decades ago, most insurance plans would cover up to $1,000 or $1,500 in dental bills every year. Today, a single crown can cost that much, but most policies still have the same limit. People are getting teeth pulled that could be fixed because they can’t afford to pay for the work.” -Bryan Tervo, DDS, expert at

“If you’re missing teeth, chances are that your insurance company won’t cover implants- only one out of twenty-two insurance companies I deal with covers them, even though they’re better than dentures in every way.” -Joel Slaven, DDS

“Most people without insurance don’t go to a dentist until they’re in a tragic situation. They could wind up needing $20,000 worth of work.” -Paul Hettinger, DMD


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