Tooth or Fiction: Dental Myths Quiz
by Staff
How much of what you know about dental hygiene is true, and how much is myth? "Brush up" on your dental know-how with our 20-question quiz.

Bacteria in your mouth feed on carbohydrates and produce what tooth-damaging byproduct?

  • plaque
  • sugar
  • acid

True or False: You'll always know if you have tooth decay.

  • TRUE

At what angle should you hold your toothbrush for the most effective brushing?

  • 15 degrees
  • 45 degrees
  • 90 degrees

You might have heard that putting aspirin directly on an aching tooth is a bad idea, but why?

  • Aspirin can be poisonous if it dissolves in your mouth.
  • Aspirin can dissolve the enamel on your teeth.
  • Aspirin can cause acid burn to your lips and gums.

Which of the following is better for your teeth?

  • replacing brushing with a plaque-removing mouth wash
  • brushing rapidly once a day with a firm-bristled brush
  • brushing a few times a day with a soft-bristled brush

Which of the following is NOT a possible cause of bad breath?

  • sickness
  • poor dental hygiene
  • not showering

Bleeding gums while brushing is often caused by what?

  • brushing too often
  • irritation from plaque and food particles along the gum line
  • allergies to certain toothpastes

True or False: Teeth whitening products can irritate the gums.

  • TRUE

How often should you brush your teeth?

  • once a day
  • two or three times each day
  • as often as possible

Which of the following is NOT a possible effect of teeth bleaching?

  • tooth sensitivity
  • weakened tooth enamel
  • a brighter, whiter smile

True or False: Eating acidic foods can damage your teeth.

  • TRUE

True or False: Bleaching your teeth too often can make them appear translucent.

  • TRUE

Which type of tooth surface is most likely to develop decay?

  • a tooth with a smooth surface
  • a tooth with big gaps
  • a tooth with small gaps

True or False: If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, you should stop brushing until they heal.

  • TRUE

How long should you brush your teeth each time?

  • no longer than a minute
  • ten minutes or more
  • at least two minutes

True or false: If someone's breath stinks, it means they have poor oral hygiene.

  • TRUE

How does aspirin work to stop tooth pain?

  • It blocks the release of prostaglandins, which send pain messages to the brain.
  • It promotes the release of endorphins, which stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain.
  • It numbs the nerve endings in the tooth, preventing the transmittal of pain messages to the brain.

The most effective way to relieve the pain of a toothache using aspirin is to do what?

  • Place the aspirin directly on the aching tooth.
  • Take the aspirin orally, according to the directions.
  • Dissolve the aspirin in water and swish the water around in your mouth.

Why is it a bad idea to hold slowly-dissolving candies in your mouth for a long time?

  • The longer the candy is in your mouth, the more likely you are to chip a tooth on it
  • Slowly dissolving candies allow sugar to stay in contact with your teeth for a long time, which gives bacteria more time to feed.
  • Sugar erodes the enamel on your teeth, so the longer the sugar is in your mouth the longer it has to damage your teeth.

True or False: When it comes to tooth decay, it's not about the amount of sugar you eat, it's about how long that sugar is in contact with your teeth.

  • TRUE