• Test Your Dental Knowledge

    1. True or False: The leading cause of tooth loss is Cavities.
    2. True or False: You can thoroughly clean your teeth simply by thoroughly brushing them.
    3. True or False: Eating sweets and candy causes tooth decay.
    4. True or False: You can destroy tooth enamel by sucking on a lemon.
    5. True or False: Chewing on ice cubes will make your teeth stronger.
    6. True or False: The presence of gum disease can lead to conditions like pneumonia or diabetes.

    7. True or False: You should brush your teeth immediately after eating.
    Answers
    1. False: The leading cause of tooth loss is gum disease.

    2. False: The brush does not reach 100% of all tooth surfaces, it reaches only 2/3 of the tooth’s surface. Dental floss can reach the remaining1/3 of tooth surface. Unfortunately, only 1/3 of the general population do flossing.

    3. Both True and False (but it’s almost true): Although sugar is bad for you, it is not the cause of tooth decay provided it is immediately flushed from the mouth. It is not the sugar but how frequent the exposure and how long it is retained in your mouth that causes damage by sugar. The sugar feeds the bacteria which produces acid and eventual tooth decay. When comparing eating once to eating all day; eating or drinking sugary food all the time will cause decay.

    4. True: Yes, you can destroy the tooth enamel by sucking anything acidic. Acid affects the enamel of teeth. Enamel protects the underlying dentin of a tooth.

    5. False: The force required to chew ice cube may crack your teeth. The cold temperature of ice contracts the enamel and the mouth’s warm temperature expands it causing cracks, this is more pronounced if you have amalgam fillings.

    6. True: As discussed in Chapter 1, gum disease has far more implications on other conditions than what we normally believe.

    7. False. If the food contains acidic and citrus fruits, which may erode the enamel and dentin, then brushing immediately can drive the acid deeper into your teeth. In that situation, just rinse with a mouthwash and wait for 20 to 30 minutes before brushing. The Mayo Clinic suggests waiting 30 min after an Acidic meal such as citrus fruit. Here is the dilemma – the toothpaste research focuses on enamel abrasion, and toothbrush research looks at plaque removal (not food removal). My suggestion is to remove food particles by rinsing with baking soda, immediately after eating. This will also neutralise the acidity of the mouth.