Teeth and toothpaste myths busted

accreditation
Image: Getty
Image: Getty

But which ones are actually worth the money? We investigate the teeth tools to pick up, and the ones to leave on the shelf.

Whitening toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes are effective at removing stains, but they can’t actually make teeth bright white. Although they contain abrasive ingredients such as hydrated silica, mica, sodium bicarbonate, the quantity of bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide is only available in tiny amounts in over the counter whiteners, just 0.1 per cent, whereas dentists can give up to 6 per cent.

Sensitive toothpastes

On the other hand, toothpastes marketed for sensitive teeth do work. And it doesn’t matter if you reach for a pricey or own brand version, as long as it has the active ingredient potassium nitrate in it, which blocks the microscopic tubes that lead to nerves within the tooth, forming a protective layer. It physically fills the exposed areas on the tooth’s surface meaning less sensitivity.

To rinse or not to rinse?

After cleaning your teeth don’t wash your mouth out with water. Keeping some of the toothpaste residue sitting on your teeth after brushing will protect them overnight and by not rinsing, it improves the effectiveness of toothpaste.

Cheese is good for teeth

Cheese really is good for our pearly whites, even if your waistlines don’t agree. The dairy produce acts as a buffer and neutralises the acid in your mouth. So if you eat something very sugary or acidic, eating some cheese after will calm down the length of time the attack happens on your teeth.

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