Brush up on your teeth

accreditation


Teeth get brushed every day, flossed occasionally and for the rest of the time, don't get a huge amount of attention. That's until they start causing you pain and discomfort. Few things are more painful than a tooth abscess – and no-one can ignore it, however hard you try.

Brushing in the morning. There's no harm in this, unless you then eat breakfast, and leave home without cleaning your teeth again. Think about it: if you have your breakfast, your teeth won't be clean – and it could be 12 hours or more before you brush then again.

Cavities in baby teeth don't matter. Baby teeth will disappear, but if cavities are not treated, they can cause serious infections.

Sugar rots your teeth. Wrong. What matters is how long the sugar is in contact with your teeth. Acid formed by oral bacteria can damage your teeth. The longer the exposure, the more the damage. If you've eaten a sugar-filled snack, it's a good idea to brush your teeth to minimise the damage.

Tooth sensitivity points to cavities. No, it doesn't. You could simply have a receding gum that exposes some of the root surface of your teeth.

The more often you brush your teeth, the better. No, not really. Too frequent brushing, especially with a hard toothbrush, could cause abrasion of the enamel on your teeth. If your toothbrush becomes soft and useless after a month only, you could be brushing too hard.

Everyone's gums bleed when they brush their teeth. No, they don't. it could be that you are brushing your teeth in such a way that you are injuring your gums, or you could have inflammation because of plaque accumulation.

Dental problems only affect the mouth. Many studies have shown a link between poor dental care and heart problems. The mouth is teeming with bacteria, and this could get into your bloodstream if you have serious gum disease. This could increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Only kids can wear braces. Adults can wear braces to correct poorly positioned teeth. It just takes longer in adulthood for teeth to shift.

All older people get dentures. This is simply untrue. In years gone by, the solution to dental problems was often to remove teeth. These days dentists are far more skilled in preserving teeth. More and more older people have their real teeth these days.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
28% - 9789 votes
No
72% - 24587 votes
Vote