We’ve all heard wise tales and urban legends on how to care for our teeth. But with advances in dentistry and new research there’s some shocking information on what’s really accurate and what’s been debunked as a myth. With so much unnecessary stress and anxiety about the dentist, it’s not surprising several myths have spread around. It is important to remember knowledge is power and the more you know about dental care, the more comfortable you’ll be about your trips to the dentist. If you have any questions about something you’ve heard but might seem a little fishy, talk with your dentist and ask for the facts. They are there to take care of not only your teeth, but you and can be an amazing resource! Lets take a look at some of the most common myths about dental health.
Diet sodas and fruit juices are healthy for your teeth.
- False. Although diet sodas contain no sugar, they cause about the same amount of dental erosion as regular sodas. Acidic additives are added to sugar free drinks and are responsible for enamel erosion. Fruit juices contain a large amount of sugar as well as acids that can also wear down tooth enamel. The best options are to drink water, use a straw with sodas and juices, and brush after consuming these sugary/acidic drinks.
You don’t need to worry about baby teeth since they’ll fall out anyways.
- Myth! In fact, baby teeth should be cared for in the same manner as adult teeth. Remember, oral health has a huge impact on your overall health and well-being! Primary teeth can become infected and damaged baby teeth can permanently harm other permanent teeth. Children should visit the dentist by age 1 and should get frequent cleanings on baby teeth just as adults get on permanent ones.
Whitening is harmful for your teeth.
- There is no evidence to support this idea. This misconception may stem from the fact that bleaching can cause temporary sensitivity. Bleaching products are usually harmless if used according to the directions. Bleaching only affects the color of the teeth, not their strength. Ideally, whitening treatment completed at your dentist office is the safest way to achieve whiter and brighter teeth.
Some fun facts:
- The average person will spend about 38.5 days brushing their teeth over the course of a lifetime.
- But on average, people only spend about 48 seconds brushing their teeth when the recommended time is 2 minutes!
- The average woman smiles 62 times a day. The average man smiles about 8 times a day. (show off your pearly whites guys!)
- Common plaque found on your teeth is home to over 300 types of bacteria.
- Flossing only once per day can increase your life expectancy by 6 years! (Yet 78% of people would rather go grocery shopping than floss their teeth.)