When it comes to knowing about teeth and the best ways to look after them, one of the best people get advice from is Dr Robbie Hughes. In this guide, he answers 14 dental questions that have probably been playing on your mind.
Hopefully, everyone reading this will be brushing their teeth at least once, preferably twice a day? Brushing teeth should by now be second nature for everyone over the age of five. It’s quite staggering how much time the average person spends on their teeth. For example, the Oral Health Foundation has stated that the average Brit spends an incredible 1,983.16 hours of their lives brushing their teeth which equate to slightly more than 82 days!
However, putting the time in is one thing; doing it the right way is a different matter altogether. One person who knows pretty much everything there is to know about teeth and oral health is Dr Robbie Hughes (right). He’s kindly compiled a guide that confirms some facts and destroys some myths about teeth.
Do you have to brush your teeth twice a day for them to stay healthy?
FACT: Probably unsurprising, but yes, this is a fact! It is important to brush your teeth last thing before going to bed and then ideally first thing in the morning. By doing this, you will remove plaque and bacteria, preventing decay and gum disease and ensuring your breath smells minty-fresh.
Does chewing gum clean your teeth?
MYTH: Unfortunately, this is a myth. It doesn’t clean your teeth, but chewing sugar-free gum neutralises the PH in your mouth and stimulates saliva flow, reducing the risk of tooth decay.
Eating cheese can protect your teeth?
FACT: Chewing cheese helps rebalance the pH balance in the mouth, reducing the acidity through saliva production. It preserves and rebuilds enamel and plays an important role in washing the bacteria and plaque off the teeth. Cheese also contains calcium and phosphate, both of which are essential components of healthy teeth.
Bad teeth are inherited
FACT: Bad teeth and gum disease is partly genetic. However, having bad teeth can also result from environmental factors such as smoking, diet and oral hygiene. If you don’t have bad teeth in the family and you look after your teeth the correct way, you should be able to avoid major issues down the line.
Yellow teeth mean they are unhealthy
MYTH: Teeth come in different sizes and colours, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhealthy. Having white teeth is trendy, but surprisingly more yellow teeth can be just as healthy whilst still doing the job they were designed to do!
You can’t brush your teeth for 30 minutes after eating
FACT: This is actually a really important fact. You need to allow time for your teeth to recover after you have eaten, especially if it is something sugary. Physically brushing your teeth at this time can cause damage, so instead, try rinsing with mouthwash or sugar-free gum after meals to bring the PH balance down.
Diet drinks don’t damage your teeth as sugar-filled drinks do
MYTH: Drinks that can be marketed as “sugar-free” can still be damaging to the teeth. Fizzy drinks are all carbonated, which causes erosion, so stick to fizz free.
Your teeth can get damaged during pregnancy
FACT: During pregnancy, your increased hormone levels mean that your body has an increased response to bacteria. This puts you at a higher risk of gum disease, so see your hygienist if you are suffering from bleeding gums.
Pregnancy can also mean you are eating increased sugary foods to combat sickness and pregnancy cravings. This can lead to tooth decay, so make sure you are keeping up good oral hygiene twice a day. Don’t forget that all NHS dental work is free whilst you are pregnant and in the first year after your baby is born, so be sure to make the most of it!
The best way to deal with a knocked-out tooth is the jam it back into the hole
FACT: If you get a tooth knocked out, pick it up, lick it clean and put it back in the hole – then get to a dentist quick sharp. If you find you are unable to put the tooth back into the hole, put it in milk and take it with you to the dentist as soon as possible. It’s important to note that you should never try to re-insert a baby tooth.
Only kids have braces
MYTH: You can have braces at any age. If you feel like you want to work on your smile or any issues such as an overbite, then the time is now! Some of the world’s most recognisable people have been seen wearing metal braces and retainers; if it’s good enough for them, why not give it a shot?
Rinsing after brushing is bad/mouthwash strips teeth of paste benefits
FACT: This is so important. After you have brushed your teeth, don’t rinse your teeth out. Let that lovely fluoride do its job!
Veneers are unaffordable
MYTH: Admittedly, they aren’t cheap; it’s no different from anything that has a positive impact on your life. If something is of high quality, it will almost certainly come with a price tag. Veneers should be viewed as an investment, and the price is a reflection of the quality and experience of the clinician. If you consider having dental work done, be sure to find a clinician registered with the UK General Dental Council.
Humans didn’t struggle with crooked teeth until agriculture came into existence
FACT: Research shows that our teeth have become more crooked and our jaws weaker as we have evolved. Although there is no firm evidence to suggest one specific reason for this, it could be numerous reasons. For example, the softer texture of our food in modern times, the way we consume it with a knife and fork, and the reduction in breastfeeding that help to develop stronger jaw muscles.
Charcoal toothpaste is better for your teeth
Myth and fact: Unregulated charcoal toothpaste can contain large particles of charcoal, which can be abrasive and damaging to the teeth. If you want to use charcoal toothpaste to remove staining, ensure to use one formulated by a dentist like Millionaire Smile volcanic bright glow.
If you would like to know more about Dr Robbie Hughes and the dental services he and his colleagues offer, please visit www.dentalexcellenceuk.com.