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The Truth Behind 5 Tooth Myths

Posted on July 11th, 2014 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

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True or false: whitening your teeth destroys your enamel and kills your roots? Fact or fiction: wisdom teeth are a joke of nature and serve no purpose? Right or wrong: you can never brush your teeth too much? Your dental offices in Lakeview are here to set the records straight with these and other ridiculous notions about teeth. You’re welcome.
1. Myth: Any Amount of Bleaching will Damage Your Teeth
No matter how little you use it, any amount of teeth whitening will damage the enamel of your teeth and break down its structure. It also doesn’t matter where you find the bleaching products, you could purchase it at the store or at the dental office, it makes no difference. Your teeth are going to get weaker and weaker until you have no more teeth left to chew with let alone whiten.
Reality: Bleaching Doesn’t Harm Teeth when Performed Wisely
Many factors play into tooth decay such as former tooth complications, genetically weaker enamel, and poor oral hygiene. Bleaching your teeth is actually perfectly safe as long as you following the instructions of your dentist. Your teeth will feel slightly more sensitive due to the small amount of hydrogen peroxide that is contained within the whitening product. However this oxidizing agent will not break down your tooth structure unless it is overused against the dentist’s recommendation.
2. Myth: Fluctuations in Temperature Can Cause Your Teeth to Crack
The extreme temperature change of one bite of frozen ice cream will cause your perfect teeth to crack wide open. Then the exposure of your nerves will present the most horrendous pain you have ever felt in your life.
Reality: Healthy Teeth Rarely Crack Under Pressure
Healthy adult teeth are constructed to withstand many temperature changes that occur in the mouth. If your teeth are not healthy or strong and you are unwise enough to try to go from one extreme temperature to another then yes your teeth may crack slightly. If left untreated then that small crack will expand and cause you pain.
3. Myth: Wisdom Teeth Are Useless
Wisdom teeth are unimportant organs that serve no purpose. Due to their unbearable pain and discomfort, they are often extracted when they first make their appearance and are never missed.
Reality: Great Discoveries are Being Made with Wisdom Teeth
Our ancestors needed wisdom teeth to eat their abrasive foods. They had tougher, larger jaws that had room for wisdom teeth. Nowadays, our mouths are smaller and we eat lighter foods that are not so harmful to our teeth and jaws, but there is still some good that can become of our extracted wisdom teeth. A recent study in Japan has discovered that these molars are comprised of valuable mesenchymal stromal cells within its inside tissues. These cells are comparable to that which is found in bone marrow. Researchers are working on a way to preserve wisdom teeth so that they can be used for stem-cell growth and possibly tooth replacement.
4. Myth: You Should Brush Your Teeth At Least Five Times Daily
To protect your teeth from decaying you must brush away leftover food immediately after every meal. Don’t wait around, or you’re gonna lose that smile of yours.
Reality: Over-Brushing Your Teeth is Harmful
Your mouth likes to defend itself with tooth enamel and saliva. After you eat, the saliva in your mouth breaks down foods and temporarily softens the enamel. If you brush your teeth during this time while your teeth are vulnerable, then you will end up brushing away that enamel. To stay on the safe side of things, it is wise to wait a good half-hour to an hour before brushing your teeth after eating.
5. Myth: Drinking Soda Before Bed Will Disintegrate Your Teeth Overnight
Professor Clive McCay of Cornell University claimed that if you put a tooth in a cup of Coke that the tooth will dissolve overnight. He said that the ingredients citric, carbonic acid, and phosphoric found in the formula of soda were the culprits of such distressing detections.
Reality: Your Teeth Will Not Disappear After One Gulp of Soda
A chemist named Orville May decided to experiment with McCay’s findings and found that more citric and phosphoric acid was found in orange juice than in soda. He also found that people don’t sleep with soda inside their mouth all night long and that even if they did the soda would not dissolve the teeth overnight. With that in mind, it is important to note that although soda won’t destroy teeth overnight, it will gradually weaken your enamel and will cause tooth decay over time.
All in all, our teeth are pretty incredible. Truth is they are capable of taking care of themselves. It is important, however, that we do our part in watching out for our pearly whites. Basically, follow the rules of your dentist and nobody gets hurt.

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