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6 myths and realities about teeth

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The overabundance of information on oral health can leave us a little perplexed. Do you know what’s true and what’s false? Take our quiz and find out.

1. Milk is good for our teeth.

True. Numerous studies showed that milk is very good for dental health. This dairy product is instrumental in preventing dental problems like cavities and periodontitis. Among other benefits, it provides our teeth with minerals and nutrients (calcium, vitamin D, phosphates, etc.), making them stronger and less vulnerable.

2. Sugar causes cavities.

True. Foods that are high in sugar cause cavities. This is because, when the bacteria found in plaque interacts with sugars, they form an acid that attacks and demineralizes tooth enamel. Over time, a very small hole will form on the surface of the tooth, forming a cavity.

3. Red wine stains teeth.

True. Because it is so rich in tannins, red wine definitely stains teeth. But did you know that white wine is just as bad? While it doesn’t directly stain your teeth, it contains high levels of acid that leave your teeth vulnerable to staining when you consume other colored foods or drinks. That being said, recent studies show that the polyphenols (natural antioxidants) found in grapes, and therefore in red wine, protect against cavities. The key word here being “grapes”, you don’t actually have to drink more wine to get the benefits!

4. Baking soda whitens teeth.

True. Soft yet abrasive, baking soda polishes the teeth and eliminates surface stains, like those caused by nicotine, coffee and tea. In fact, many toothpaste brands contain baking soda. Talk to your dentist or pharmacist who can recommend the product that is best suited to your needs.

5. A piece of cheese is as good as a brushing.

False. Nothing can replace a good brushing. However, cheese, especially firm cheese like cheddar, Swiss, Emmental and Gouda, can help prevent cavities as they contain calcium, proteins and phosphates that counter the acids that cause cavities. Chewing on a firm cheese also increases the production of saliva, which helps neutralize the acids on the surface of the teeth and can also dislodge food stuck between the teeth.

6. Acidic foods and drinks can weaken teeth.

True. Acidic foods and drinks (citrus, soft drinks, juices, etc.) lead to dental erosion. Unfortunately, dental erosion is irreversible and causes permanent damage to the structure and enamel.


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