- Happy members that stay
- Big Benefits
- Not for Profit
- Covered Australia-wide
Busting dental myths
Posted 4 December 2018
Health Partners Dentist Tim Burton helps bust some of the myths around dental health – do you know your fact from fiction?
You must visit your dentist every 6 months
Your dentist will set a check-up schedule after examining your teeth and oral hygiene, and learning about your cleaning habits, diet, general health and lifestyle factors, and any history of periodontal disease. Depending on your level of risk, you may be encouraged to see your dentist every three to 12 months, although six monthly check-ups are the most common.
Caring for baby teeth isn't as important as caring for adult teeth
While it may seem silly putting a filling in a tooth with a relatively short lifespan, leaving decay in a baby tooth that is not yet ready to come out may actually impact the health of the adult tooth growing below.
Baby teeth also hold space for adult teeth to come through. Early loss of baby teeth from decay can lead to over crowding of adult teeth and the need for orthodontic treatment later on.
Your child should first visit the dentist when their initial tooth erupts and definitely before their first birthday.
The more sugar you eat, the worse for your teeth
It’s not about the amount of sugar you’re eating, it’s about how often you’re exposing your teeth to it throughout the day. And we’re not just talking about chocolate, lollies and soft drinks. Too much fruit, juice or sweetened yoghurt can be just as damaging as soft drinks, sports drinks and chocolate milk.
Drink tap (not bottled) water for the extra fluoride throughout the day and avoid snacking and grazing on sugary snacks. Consider nuts, veggie sticks, cheese and natural yoghurt as healthier substitutes to help protect your teeth.
Teeth whitening is harmful to your teeth
Teeth whitening is safe, provided it’s done under the supervision and direction of a dentist.
We recommend custom-fitted trays as it ensures the bleaching gel stays on your teeth, away from your gums to prevent irritation. Your dentist will also make sure you use the appropriate bleaching agent and for the correct amount of time.
It’s normal to experience some sensitivity during the whitening process, but using it for too long can increase this sensitivity and in extreme cases cause nerve damage. Whitening toothpaste can also be coarse and overuse can lead to tooth abrasion or gum recession.
The more you brush, the healthier your teeth
Heavy brushing can lead to tooth wear and gum recession. Avoid over-brushing by using a soft bristled toothbrush with a gentle technique (no scrubbing). Brush for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and spit (don’t rinse) the toothpaste, so you retain a little fluoride to guard your teeth.
Floss once a day and chew sugar-free gum after meals to help cleanse the teeth and stimulate saliva flow. Saliva helps to balance the acids in your mouth to reduce the risk of decay.