Is candy really as bad for teeth as they say? There are many old wives tales and urban legends about dental health. Read on to discover what’s truth and what’s fiction when it comes to your choppers.
1. Sugar causes cavities – Myth, sort of. Has mom ever tried to blame your cavity-pocked mouth on all that sugar you had after Halloween? She is right, but only partially so. It’s not the sugar itself that causes cavities, but the bacteria in your mouth. When exposed to carbohydrates, including sugar, these bacteria produce an acid that creates holes in the teeth.
2. Acidic foods like lemons cause tooth decay – Fact. Lemons, citric juices and soft drinks hurt the enamel and weaken your teeth.
3. Kids get more cavities than adults – Myth. Thanks to sealants, fluoridated water and preventative care, children only get half as many cavities as they did 20 years ago.
4. Teeth clenching and grinding lead to tooth decay – Fact. The strain of these activities crack and fracture teeth over time. If not treated, the cracks and fractures will lead to tooth decay.
5. Placing an aspirin next to a sore tooth will kill the pain – Myth. Aspirin is acidic and will actually burn your gum and can cause an abscess. Swallowing an aspirin can help reduce the pain.
6. Bleaching weakens teeth – Myth. Bleaching can cause tooth sensitivity, but it doesn’t weaken teeth. Bleaching only changes the color of the teeth.
7. It’s bad to brush bleeding gums – Myth. Bleeding gums indicate that plaque and food particles have built up along the gums. Brushing removes the gunk and will stop the bleeding.
8. Bad brushing causes bad breath – Myth, sort of. Poor oral hygiene is one of the causes of bad breath, but there are many other factors that cause halitosis. Diet and illness are two examples of factors that can cause bad breath. Regardless of the source, your dentist can help unearth the cause of your stinky breath.