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Common Dental Myths – what we all need to know

Sugar-free soft drinks and lollies, for example, do have the potential to cause the erosion of dental enamel and lead to cavities and heightened sensitivity. This is because they are high in citric acid, which is a major cause of tooth erosion. Citric acid is also added to sports drinks to make them taste better (because the electrolytes don’t taste good!), and sipping on a sports drink with a dry mouth can also provide an environment that helps erosion along.  If you drink or eat acidic foods and beverages, don’t brush your teeth straight afterwards as the combination of erosion and abrasion can wear away your teeth’s enamel. Drink fluoridated tap water, rinse thoroughly and then wait a while before you brush.

Brushing more regularly is good for your teeth

Brushing regularly is recommended by Dentists but if done over-vigorously it can lead to gum recession and tooth wear (due to the abrasive properties of many kinds of toothpastes).
Avoid excessive brushing by using a soft bristled brush and a gentle brushing technique rather than scrubbing. Brush for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and spit (don’t rise) the toothpaste out as this will ensure a bit of fluoride is still retained on your teeth. You should also floss your teeth once a day.  
In between this, you can rinse your mouth out with tap water after eating and chew sugar-free gum after meals, which will help cleanse your teeth and stimulate saliva flow. Saliva helps to balance the acids that are in your mouth and assists with reducing the risk of decay.

Only sugar causes tooth decay

We all know that eating too much sugar increases your risk of tooth decay. This is due to sugary foods feeding the plaque-creating bacteria in your mouth, which increases the acids that wear away the surface of your teeth. It’s also not just about the amount of sugar you’re eating, it’s also about how often you expose your teeth to sugar throughout the day.

However, lollies, chocolate and soft drinks aren’t the only ‘harmful’ sugars. Too much juice, fruit or sweetened yoghurt can be just as damaging, and starchy foods containing carbohydrates can also cause plaque to form. But sugar being the only cause of tooth decay is a dental myth because even if you don’t have a lot of these in your diet, you will still be at risk of cavities if you don’t floss and brush correctly.

The solution? Avoid snacking on sugary treats (opt for healthy snacks like veggie sticks, cheese and nuts), and drink plenty of fluoridated tap water throughout the day which can help repair weak spots that can become cavities.

Fluoridated water isn’t good for you

One of the more common myths about oral health is that drinking fluoridated water is not good for us. However, according to the National Health and Medical Research Council community water fluoridation programs are considered to be a safe and effective way of reducing tooth decay across the Australian population.

In fact in Australia, dental health has actually improved since water fluoridation began in the 1950’s. Compared to our parents’ generation, those born after 1970 (when the majority of water fluoridation programs commenced), have about half the level of tooth decay as their parents do.

Combined with a healthy diet, good oral hygiene, the use of fluoridated toothpaste and regular dental check-ups, scientific research has confirmed that water fluoridation is an effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.

We always know if we have a cavity in a tooth

Sometimes the signs that you may have a dental cavity are obvious.  These signs include – discolouration, visible holes, tooth sensitivity/ache or chewing difficulties.  Sometimes, however, you might not feel any pain at all.  This is dangerous as it can lead to bigger issues if cavities become larger and reach the nerve inside the tooth.Regular Dental check ups with xrays are vital in identifying smaller problems before they get too big.


If you feel a slight twinge or are due a regular check up ,call your friendly Local Redcliffe Dentists at John Street Dental on 3284 4281 for an appointment or Book Online