We've grown up hearing various 'old wives' tales" and urban legends like eating crust will make your hair curly or that sucking your thumb leads to buck teeth. But when it comes to health myths, in particular those about our pearly whites, how do you know which ones are true?
Oral-B advisor and leading Australian Dentist, Dr. Chris Ho, gives his verdict on some of the most common oral care tooth tales.
1. Tale: Gain a child, lose a tooth
A woman is bound to lose a tooth when she's pregnant due to hormonal changes affecting oral health, including increased risk of gingivitis.
During pregnancy, women are more susceptible to gingivitis and other oral care issues due to hormonal changes - but proper attention and care will help prevent losing a tooth.
There are a variety of factors that can affect your oral care when pregnant, whether these are hormonal or otherwise. For example, morning sickness increases the acidity levels in your mouth which can sometimes erode the tooth enamel, or you may crave sugary foods which increase the chance of cavities.
The best thing to do is increase your water intake to help wash away the acidity caused by morning sickness and any excess sugar consumed by food. You should also use a toothpaste which offers both enamel protection and plaque control to help protect the tooth.
2. Tale: Thumb sucking leads to buck teeth
Children's teeth will protrude outwards or result in -buck teeth' if they suck their thumb.
It's not uncommon for a child to suck their thumb, however the risk of buck teeth increases if a child continues to suck their thumb after four and half years of age. The pressure applied by the thumb can push the permanent adult teeth forward as they come through the gums.
If your child continues to suck their thumb after the age of four and half, enlist the help of your dentist who can advise of tips and tricks for breaking the habit.
3. Tale: Sensitive teeth can mean you have decay
If you don't usually suffer from sensitive teeth, yet have a sudden onset of sensitivity, it can sometimes mean you have early signs of tooth decay.
Be sure to consult your dentist as soon as possible if you experience unusual sensitivity. The earlier tooth decay is detected the easier it is to treat.
4. Tale: You can't over brush
There is no such thing as over brushing your teeth and even so, you can't damage your teeth from a little extra brushing.
There is such a thing as over brushing and it can cause damage to the teeth. Excessive brushing, or brushing with bristles that are too hard can lead to gum recession and wear down tooth enamel. This can result in your teeth looking slightly discoloured – not whiter.
The Oral-B Triumph power toothbrush has a pressure sensor and built in timer to prevent you applying too much pressure when brushing, while helping you brush for the recommended two minutes.
Using the right equipment will help you be kind to your teeth, leaving you with a confident, healthy smile.