Do you know how to care for your teeth?

Even with so much knowledge available today, misconceptions and misinformation still persist about oral health and dentistry. These can have a negative impact if they prevent people from giving their teeth and gums the care they need.

This Dental Health Week, test your knowledge by seeing if you can answer these oral health questions.

Should you brush your teeth straight after a meal?

Answer: No

In a survey by the FDI World Dental Federation, over half of Australians (51%) said they thought it was important to brush your teeth after every main meal.[1]

Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day – ideally after waking up and before going to bed. You can brush your teeth at other times, but you should avoid brushing until at least 30 minutes after eating, as your teeth enamel will still be weakened and could be damaged by the brushing action.[1]

Should you rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth?

Answer: No

Two-thirds of Australians surveyed (66%) said they rinse their mouths with water after brushing. Dentists recommend that you don't do this right away, as it means your teeth are getting less exposure to the fluoride from toothpaste that can help to prevent tooth decay.[1]

Does sugar cause tooth decay?

Answer: Yes, but not only sugar

Tooth decay is the leading cause of tooth decay, but foods that are high in starch (such as potato chips) can also feed bacteria inside the mouth, increasing the risk of tooth decay and erosion.[2]

It's not just the amount of sugar and starch you consume that can increase tooth decay, but also how long food and drink remains in your mouth before being swallowed.[2]

Is fruit juice better for your teeth than soft drinks?

Answer: Not always

While fizzy soft drinks and energy drinks are some of the leading causes of tooth decay, fruit juice can also contain similar levels of sugar and acidity. Sugary drinks and snacks should be kept to a minimum in a healthy diet to lower your risk of tooth decay and other oral health problems.[1]

Is fluoride dangerous?

Answer: No

Extensive research carried out over many decades in many countries has confirmed that fluoride is a safe and effective measure for helping to prevent tooth decay in people of all ages.[3]

While exposure to high levels of fluoride can cause fluorosis (the formation of small white spots on the teeth) in children, levels of fluoride in local water supplies, toothpaste and other dental products are maintained at safe levels.[3]

Do oral diseases only affect your mouth?

Answer: No

There is strong evidence linking oral health to general health and wellbeing. The presence of tooth decay, gum disease or other problems in the mouth can increase the risk of developing other chronic diseases elsewhere in the body, such as heart disease or diabetes.[4]

Lowering your risk factors for oral diseases can also make it less likely that you'll develop associated health problems.[4]

Should you only visit the dentist if something's wrong?

Answer: No

Some people only make an appointment with their dentist when they already have a toothache or other symptoms of a problem.

Regular dental check-ups give your dentist the chance to spot and treat problems at an early stage, when they may be easier to treat. They can also professionally clean your teeth to remove plaque, lowering your risk of tooth decay and other oral diseases.[4]

Your dentist will recommend the most suitable schedule for appointments, based on your individual risk and the state of your oral health.[4]

Talk to a dentist in Brisbane CBD

If you need to speak to a dentist or you want to arrange an oral health assessment, contact our friendly team at Face Value Dental in Brisbane CBD.

Call us today on (07) 3221 0677 or get in touch online.

References

[1] Australian Dental Association. Survey for World Oral Health Day exposes Australian oral health myths [Online] 2017 [Accessed July 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Media-Releases/Survey-for-World-Oral-Health-Day-exposes-Australia

[2] Australian Dental Association. Snack Attack: You are what you eat [Online] 2016 [Accessed July 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/getattachment/Your-Dental-Health/Resources-for-Professionals/Resources-for-Children-0-11/Snack-attack-you-are-what-you-eat/Snack-attack,-you-are-what-you-eat.pdf.aspx

[3] Queensland Government. Facts and Myths about Fluoride [Online] 2017 [Accessed July 2018] Available from: http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/18/156/312/facts-and-myths-about-fluoride

[4] Dental Health Services Victoria. Links between oral health and general health the case for action - Technical Paper [Online] 2018 [Accessed July 2018] Available from: www.dhsv.org.au