DENTAL MYTHS BUSTED









Only sugar causes tooth decay

Eating too much sugar (especially processed sugar) does increase your risk of tooth decay. As the sugary food is broken down, it feeds the plaque-creating bacteria in your mouth and worsens the acids that can wear away the surface of your teeth. But even if you don't have a lot of sugar in your diet, you'll still be at risk of cavities if you don't brush and floss correctly. Starchy foods also contain carbohydrates that can cause plaque to form.

Diet drinks are better for you

It's not just the sugar in soft drinks that damages your teeth, it's also the acidity. Over time, sugar-free fizzy drinks can cause just as much wear to the enamel, potentially leading to heightened sensitivity, cavities, or even tooth loss. The natural sugars in some fruit juices can be just as damaging. For a healthy and refreshing alternative to soft drinks, nothing beats water.

White teeth are healthy teeth

Although you might like the look of white teeth, they aren’t always a fool-proof sign of good oral health. Natural tooth color varies in lightness, especially as we age. Just because your teeth are white doesn't mean you can avoid visiting the dentist. You may still have cavities, infections or other oral health problems that need to be treated sooner rather than later.

Charcoal toothpaste is better for your teeth

Whilst charcoal toothpaste has become something of a trend of late, brushing with it may actually put your teeth at risk. The most important ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride, which is crucial to prevent tooth decay, yet many of the charcoal types available now don’t contain enough of it. When choosing toothpaste, make sure it’s from a good quality, reputable manufacturer.

Braces are just for kids

Although it’s common for children and teens to receive orthodontic treatment, more and more adults are getting in on the action. Advances in braces now offer a more discreet option for adults who weren’t able to address their orthodontic issues when they were younger.

No need to brush baby teeth

Starting good brushing habits nice and early on sets patterns for a lifetime, leading to a life-long healthy smile and good general health. Using the correct brushing technique twice a day can prevent the build-up of plaque, reducing your child’s chances of tooth decay and gum disease. It is also important to take your child to the dentist for a regular check-up, to ensure they have good oral health and so you can address any problems that may arise early.

Flossing isn’t important

When people think about oral hygiene, they think about brushing, brushing and more brushing. Flossing, on the other hand, is seen as less important, a bit like cleaning behind your ears and trimming nose hair. However, while brushing can help clean the surface of your teeth, the bristles will struggle to work their way in between your teeth. Flossing cleans approximately one-third of your tooth surface, which normal brushing simply can’t reach.

The harder you brush, the cleaner you’ll get your teeth

Brushing too hard can actually harm your teeth by abrading some of the hard enamel that protects the inside of the tooth from cavities, decay and receding gums.

Bad teeth and gums are inherited

The spacing, alignment, size of teeth, and size of jaw are all inherited through your family lineage. But you do not inherit bad teeth, poor gums or the propensity to lose teeth; the health of your teeth and gums are directly related to how well you take care of them on a daily basis.

After eating, brush as soon as you can

This is often said but isn’t incorrect. While it might be tempting to freshen up after snacking, you should never brush immediately after eating. Instead wait 20 to 30 minutes and then brush. This is because your teeth will be weaker due to the change in the pH level in your mouth, meaning you could damage the enamel.