Tooth or Fiction: Dental Myths Quiz

Staff

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

Bacteria feed on carbohydrates, including sugars, and produce acid that can wear away at your tooth enamel.

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

By the time most people feel the pain of a cavity, the decay is advanced enough to begin to cause damage to the nerve. Most early decay goes unnoticed, so it's especially important to visit the dentist regularly to catch problems early.

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

Dentists recommend holding your brush at a 45-degree angle, with the bristles pointing toward your gums.

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

Sure, your tooth might hurt, but putting aspirin directly on the painful area could burn the tissues in your mouth and make you hurt even worse. It's best to follow the label and swallow the tablets instead.

Which of the following is better for your teeth?

Brushing a few times a day ensures plaque doesn't get a chance to build up on your teeth. Using a soft-bristled brush is gentler on your teeth and is least likely to cause damage.

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

Lots of things can give you stinky breath, including sickness, an unclean mouth, smoking, certain medications and even the foods you eat. But not showering will only make your body stinky, not your breath.

Bleeding gums while brushing is often caused by what?

Plaque and food particles that hang out along the gum line can irritate the gums, causing them to bleed when you brush.

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

Whitening and bleaching products can irritate the gums, especially if they're overused, but they don't generally cause serious or lasting damage.

How often should you brush your teeth?

Dentists recomment brushing your teeth two or three times a day. Brushing more often than that can actually damage your teeth and gums.

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

Bleaching your teeth could lead to increased tooth sensitivity and irritated gums, but it won't weaken your teeth.

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

Acids wear away at the enamel on your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay.

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

Bleaching is meant to make your teeth look whiter, but bleaching too much can result in translucent or even blue-hued teeth.

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

Bacteria hangs out in grooves and gaps in the teeth. If the gaps are big, they're easier to clean and decay is less likely. If they're small and difficult to clean, then it's more likely that the bacteria will cause tooth decay.

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

Bleeding gums means you have plaque buildup that is causing inflammation and irritation to the gums. Brushing will help remove the plaque and stop the bleeding.

How long should you brush your teeth each time?

Brushing for two minutes or more will help ensure you spend enough time on all surfaces of the teeth.

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

Lots of things can cause bad breath, not just bad oral hygiene. So go ahead and offer up a breath mint, but don't judge!

How does aspirin work to stop tooth pain?

Aspirin inhibits the release of prostaglandins, which are molecules that tell your brain you're in pain. If the molecules aren't released, the brain doesn't register the pain in your tooth.

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

The best, and least dangerous, way to take aspirin to relieve a toothache is to swallow the tablet whole according to the directions on the bottle.

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

Bacteria feeds on the sugar and releases acids that erode the teeth. The longer the sugar is there, the longer the bacteria can feed and produce acid. The sugar itself does not dissolve 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.

The longer sugar hangs out in your mouth, the longer bacteria can feed on it and produce tooth-eroding acids. So make sure to brush after eating sugary foods!

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

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.

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