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True or false? We demystify 5 dental ‘facts’

If there was one subject with its fair share of myths and half-truths – it is the wonderful world of teeth. While we all know that the tooth fairy isn’t real, that doesn’t mean that we can be so sure about the other myths and legends out there. Let’s take a closer look.

True: If you lose a tooth – put it in milk!

If you (or someone in your care) accidentally knock a tooth out, the best thing to do is place it back in its original socket and then seek immediate emergency treatment. If this is not possible, e.g. the person who lost the tooth is unconscious (and therefore at risk of choking), then the next best thing is to place it in milk.

Why?

  1. Milk prevents the tooth from drying out.
  2. Versus being placed in water, milk will prevent your tooth’s blood vessels and cells from bursting.

By preventing drying out and minimising cellular damage, your tooth will remain more viable, increasing the odds that it can be reattached.

True: You should brush your gums and tongue daily.

Since we were children, we have been told we must brush our teeth every day, but no one said anything about our gums or our tongue. Of course, the gums around the teeth line will be brushed incidentally, but what about the rest and the tongue?

Plaque, tartar, and oral bacteria don’t just build up on the surfaces of your teeth. For that reason, it is essential to deliberately and softly brush our gums as well. Thoroughly scrape your tongue to prevent gum disease (and bad breath while we are at it!). Your teeth will thank you for it, and so will your friends.

False: You should brush twice a day.

What? Ok, this one we have been told since we were kids, right? Brush before you go to sleep and after breakfast. But what about the twelve plus hours between breakfast and bed? During this time, the usual harmful bacteria and plaque build up just the same. To really stay on top of your oral care game, you should consider brushing three times a day, basically, after every meal.

True: You can over-brush your teeth.

While we encourage you to brush your teeth three times a day, more doesn’t always equal better. Most people brush their teeth for too long and too hard. It’s easy to think that this will give you a deeper clean, but the reality is that it wears away your precious protective enamel and causes gum erosion. Observe proper brushing technique, and use soft brushing motion with a soft toothbrush. Aim for two minutes, three times a day (and gently brush in the direction of gum growth if you’re concerned about gum erosion in a specific spot in your mouth), to avoid pushing the gum away.

False: Brushing is more important than flossing.

Which is more important to run a car – oil or petrol? It is impossible to answer, as you won’t get very far without either.

The same is true for your dental care regime. You can’t enjoy long term good dental care and hygiene without brushing AND flossing, the two truly go hand in hand.

And in case you were wondering – floss before you brush.