In 50 years of helping Chapel Hill residents take care of their smiles, Kennedy Dental Group has heard it all; there’s a lot of misinformation out there about dental health. Do you think you understand how to keep your teeth and gums healthy? Sink your teeth into this true/false quiz to test your dental health knowledge!
1. If your gums are bleeding, it’s a sign that you need to leave them alone.
False. When your gums bleed during flossing, it’s actually a sign that you might need to floss more often (unless directed otherwise by your dentist, a good rule of thumb is to floss once each day.) If bleeding gums continue to be a problem, there may be a build up of plaque or you may have a vitamin deficiency. Be sure to mention any concerns about bleeding gums to your dentist.
2. The best time to brush your teeth is right after eating or drinking.
Sometimes true/sometimes false. This one can be tricky. It depends on what you’re eating. If you have eaten carbohydrate-rich foods, brushing right after you finish eating could help keep bacteria from attacking the enamel on your teeth. However, if you ate or drank something acidic like an orange, grapefruit, or citrus fruit juice, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth to protect your enamel.
3. The more time you spend brushing and flossing, the healthier your teeth and gums will be.
False. While you might think that brushing and flossing for a longer period of time would lead to a healthier smile, there is the concept of too much of a good thing. Experts recommend using a light touch (don’t apply too much pressure) for no more than two minutes at a time. If you’re not sure you’re doing it right, talk to your dentist about it at your next visit.
4. It’s OK if you’ve been lax about brushing and flossing as long as you get in extra brushing and flossing right before going to the dentist.
False. While your dental hygienist and dentist appreciate a clean mouth when you arrive, there’s no making up for neglecting your teeth between cleanings. Get into the habit of brushing at least twice each day and flossing at least once every day. You won’t feel like you need to get in a make-up flossing session before your next cleaning.
5. If you are prone to getting cavities, you can blame it on your genes.
True (to a point.) How healthy your teeth are is the result of a combination of how well you take care of them and your genetic makeup. According to a CNN story, approximately 60 percent of your risk for tooth decay comes from genetic factors. If your parents and grandparents had good teeth, that doesn’t give you license to skimp on brushing and flossing. The reverse is also true; if you are genetically pre-disposed to tooth decay, you can still limit it by taking good care of your teeth.
6. Using sugar-free gum can help keep your teeth clean.
True. While it may seem too good to be true, the science is in, and the consensus is that sugar-free gum can help prevent cavities in between brushing because it removes food particles from the surface of your teeth, and increases saliva production which also helps protect your teeth. There are even some sugar-free gum brands on the market that contain casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), which can help to strengthen enamel, making your teeth stronger.
Schedule Your Dental Visit Today
How did you do? If you got every question right, congratulations! If not, that’s OK too. Want to improve your tooth I.Q.? Regular visits to your dentist assure that your teeth and gums are healthy and are a great way to “get schooled” about effective oral health techniques.
Kennedy Dental Group located in Chapel Hill, NC, has been providing dental treatment and preventative care to their clients since 1967. Call Kennedy Dental at (919) 967-9291 to schedule an appointment today.