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Bite that! 5 Dental Myths Debunked

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Myth #1: Consuming sugar guarantees tooth decay.
False. It is not the amount of sugar you consume that leads to tooth decay. It is actually the length of time that teeth are in contact with sugar. That is why people who regularly drink soft drinks have an increased risk of tooth decay, as there is a high level of exposure to sugar. Sugar free carbonated and acidic beverages such as lemonade are often considered safer for teeth than other soft drinks. However, if consumed regularly, these drinks can still result in demineralisation of tooth enamel.

Myth #2: Your teeth are only truly clean when they are polished.
False. Dental cleaning removes plaque, stains and tartar, whereas polishing simply smooths the surface of your teeth. Polishing strips the outer layer of enamel that fastens fluoride to your teeth. This layer assists in protecting your teeth from cavities and makes your teeth less sensitive to heat, cold and touch. It may take your teeth three months to rebuild the enamel lost in the process of polishing teeth.

Myth 3: It’s actually better to brush before you eat!
True. Acidic foods and beverages, such as green apples and soft drinks, can temporarily soften the outer layer of enamel on your teeth. Brushing immediately after eating can remove the softened enamel. Brushing before you eat removes excess plaque without risking damage to your teeth!

Myth 4: Your teeth actually never stop growing.
False. Elderly people do not have longer teeth because teeth continue to grow as we age. Our gums can recede from our teeth as we get older giving the ‘long tooth look’ that some elderly people acquire. The myth originated from an age when people would check horses teeth before purchasing them to determine the horse’s age. Longer teeth equated to an older horse. This is due to the fact that horses teeth never stop growing, however human teeth do stop growing between the ages of 18-25.

Myth 5: People who have bad breath do not brush their teeth.
There are many causes of bad breath, or halitosis. After digestion and movement into the bloodstream, food odour is carried to the lungs and given off in your teeth. We may be able to combat that smell with brushing and gargling mouthwash, but the odour will not cease until the food has completely passed through the body. Some illnesses, such as diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, chronic bronchitis, and many more, may lead to bad breath. Additionally, having a dry mouth due to lack of saliva can create bad breath, as saliva is a natural mouth cleaner. Smoking and excessive drinking may also contribute to bad breath.

Come in for a check up and clean at one of the Smile Dental Clinics for only $159 (including free x-rays worth $160). Contact the Bondi Junction clinic on 8488 9986 or the Eastgardens clinic on 8488 9994 for an appointment today.

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