Myths are like lies; in that once they are told a thousand times we assume them as truths. You would be surprised if you knew the amount of misinformation we handle on a daily basis regarding oral health. Today we are going to talk about some of the most common myths and how science has debunked them.
Myth: You need to brush immediately after eating every meal
Reality: It’s best if you wait 20 minutes before you brush
The good old classic brush after every meal and similar myths; it seems like common sense, you avoid bad breath, remove food residue and avoid stains. Interestingly, several studies have shown that in the long run this might actually be hurting our oral health. We have natural defense mechanisms to protect our teeth; the first one is the enamel, the substance which covers the tooth (and probably the hardest substance in the human body).
The second one is saliva, which degrades food naturally and kills bacteria; but when we brush immediately after eating, we don’t let it do its job appropriately. Dr. Roach, in her book Gulp recommends waiting a few minutes after eating to let saliva do its work; in fact, you could chew a piece of gum, or eat a sugar-free candy after a meal, to stimulate saliva production and get a fresh minty breath.
Myth: A lost tooth can never be recovered
Reality: Depending on how it was lost, it can be placed again if you get to the dentist right away
You popped a tooth out of its socket? Well, if it isn´t cracked, you might be able to save it; clean it with a saline solution and handle it very carefully. Place the tooth someplace safe, a container filled with milk (crazy as it may sound) is the perfect place to keep it unharmed and the cells alive.
If you don’t have milk, just put it in your mouth (don’t swallow it), and keep it there until you arrive at the dentist.
Myth: Extreme temperature changes will crack your teeth
Reality: it’s not as bad as some people make it out to be
Yes, extreme temperatures are harmful to your teeth, but, that doesn’t mean that eating an ice-cream will make your tooth explode. If you constantly eat very hot or very cold food, you might get craze lines, which, while technically cracks, pose no threat to your smile.
Even though, a regular checkup will help the dentist determine if a craze line can further develop into a more serious crack, and deal with it accordingly. But trusts us, that’s a long shot.