Dental myths: debunked!
So, think you’re a bit of a tooth-whiz eh? But is everything you think you know about your teeth based on fact, or fiction? We’ve put the most popular theories about teeth to the test and come up with some interesting revelations that may surprise you…
Theory: You can over-brush your teeth
Excessive brushing and in particular, brushing with a hard bristled brush can lead to tooth damage. Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth no more than two to three times a day, but if you prefer to brush after meals to prevent teeth staining, you should swap to a gentler soft bristled brush that will be much kinder to your tooth enamel, or trade your toothbrush for a mouthwash or breath freshening spray in between normal brushing.
Theory: Cheap toothpastes suck
While it’s true that not all toothpastes are equal, budget-friendly toothpaste can be just as effective as expensive toothpaste, provided it contains the right active ingredients. In general you should look for products containing fluoride, tartar-controlling agents and whitening ingredients like baking soda.
Theory: Using toothpicks after meals can widen the gaps in your teeth
This one is a total myth! Toothpicks will not cause your teeth to become spaced out, even if you use them frequently – however you should be careful when using them not to pierce the skin on your gums, which can lead to irritation and bleeding.
Theory: Treating tooth decay makes it go away, permanently
Treating tooth decay will not prevent reoccurring tooth decay in the future if you do not maintain an appropriate dental care routine. If you want to keep your teeth tooth decay free you need to brush and floss regularly, use a daily mouthwash and see your dentist for regular check-ups.
Theory: All wisdom teeth need to be removed
It is a myth that all wisdom teeth need to be extracted in order to prevent pain and overcrowding. If your wisdom teeth have fully erupted and there are no signs of pain, swelling or affected teeth, there is no need to remove them.
Theory: Eating too much sugar and drinking lots of sugary drinks will rot your teeth
A diet high in refined sugars found in soft drinks, juices, lollies and cakes will have a damaging effect in the long run for your teeth. Sugar encourages overgrowth of plaque, which can easily turn into tartar that can only be professionally removed by a dentist and can attack teeth if left untreated. However moderate sugar intake treated with regular brushing and mouthwash use is perfectly ok.