Five myths about oral health

Many myths about oral health and dental care are passed down the generations through word of mouth and are so deeply-rooted in our culture that it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction.

In this blog post, we’ve looked at a few of the most common mistruths that put your oral health at risk with the hope of putting them to rest once and for all.

1. “Holding an aspirin next to a tooth will help relieve your toothache”

Aspirin is highly acidic and will likely result in chemical burns to your gums if you hold it in your mouth against a tooth. For an Aspirin to be effective as a painkiller, it needs to be swallowed and allowed to enter your blood through your stomach in the normal way.

Although an aspirin may offer temporary pain relief, it will not cure the root cause of the toothache, so we recommend making an appointment to visit your dentist as soon as possible to solve the issue.

woman brushing teeth

We’re here to set the record straight about some of the most common oral health myths.

2. “If my teeth don’t hurt, they must be healthy.”

By the time that tooth decay erodes the surface of your teeth to the point that you feel pain, the decay is already quite advanced. Although your teeth may not be causing you pain, in reality you could be suffering from early stage tooth decay without even realising. With regular dental check-ups, your dentist will be able to identify and treat cavities before they develop.

3. “Using a hard toothbrush will clean your teeth more thoroughly than a soft toothbrush”

Although you may feel like you get a more effective clean using a toothbrush with hard bristles, you may actually be damaging your pearly whites. Harder bristles can result in abrasion and removal of the surface enamel of the tooth, as well as wearing away your gums over time A soft-bristled toothbrush — used properly — will clean the teeth effectively with a lower risk of enamel loss.

4. “Diet fizzy drinks are okay to consume because they don’t contain sugar”

Although they may contain less sugar, diet fizzy drinks still contain high levels of citric, carbonic, or phosphoric acid and can erode the surface of the tooth enamel, weakening the surface and increasing your risk of cavities. We recommend drinking water flavoured with slices of fresh cucumber and mint leaves for a refreshing, tooth-friendly alternative. 

5. “You should brush your teeth right away after eating something sugary”

It may seem like a good idea to brush your teeth immediately after eating something sugary in order to remove any food particles from your teeth and to minimise the amount of time your teeth are under attack from acid causing bacteria. But brushing within an hour of finishing a meal can actually damage your tooth enamel! 

This is due to the fact that while eating, the enamel of your teeth may become exposed to acid, weakening it and making it more susceptible to erosion. After a meal, it is best to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production. After about an hour your saliva has had time to re-harden your tooth enamel and you are free to brush away!

Published: February 03, 2016 

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