Busting Dental Myths

Posted on: 10 August 2016


Bacteria and germs are the major culprits for causing tooth decay. Over the years many myths have been associated with dreaded plaque, tooth decay, and the causes of tooth decay. Here are a few of those myths and the real truth behind what makes them a myth.

Hygiene Myths

Bleeding Gums are normal. Fact: The first sign of infection is bleeding gums, which is caused by harmful plaque. Flossing is essential to reach up to 35% of the plaque-ridden areas on your tooth surfaces.

Cavities aren't contagious. Fact: Infants can be infected by caregivers or parents with cavities. Vertical transmission can occur when the infant is kissed, or a baby's food is sampled.

Brush right after eating. Fact: If you have eaten any acidic foods, such as lemons, oranges, or grapefruit, you should avoid brushing your teeth for a minimum of thirty minutes. The acid breaks down the enamel. Your teeth need a short time to recuperate from the damage before you brush. It is advisable to brush before eating acid foods and to drink a glass of water to remove the acid from your teeth after eating.

Rinse your mouth with water after brushing. Fact: It is advisable to spit out the toothpaste and leave the toothpaste residue (especially a fluoride paste) in your mouth to protect the tooth's surface longer.

Chewing gum is as good as brushing after a meal. Fact: Gum is excellent for creating saliva to help neutralize acids and bacteria on the surface of the tooth. Chewing gum does not replace the American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations of brushing twice daily and flossing daily.

Sugary Treats

Sugar is why you get cavities. Fact: Bacteria can result from refined sugars found in candy, cookies, and other yummy snacks. However, when digesting any carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, veggies, and fruits, bacteria can build and cause plaque if the nasty germs are not removed from the tooth's surfaces.

Pain Relief

Aspirin next to a tooth helps a toothache. Fact: Your gums can be burned by the acidic aspirin, and an ulcer could appear on the site where the aspirin is placed. You have to swallow the aspirin to receive the pain relief.

These are just a few of the myths involving dental cavities. It is advisable to visit a dental professional at your local dental office regularly. Any questions you have about cavities should be directed to the technicians who have studied and become well-educated in causes and prevention of tooth decay.