Everyone loves a good playground myth, but when you’re hit with conflicting theories about something as fundamental as your gnashers it can all get a bit confusing. We’ve separated the truth from the fiction…
Even though our tooth fairy days may be over, we haven’t stopped believing in myths when it comes to our pearly whites.
And with the rise of Instagram models with perfect teeth and varying promises and witchcraft as to how they attained them, the truth about keeping your teeth in good nick can get lost.
We asked an expert - dental hygienist Megan Fairhall - to clear up whether there’s any truth in some of the most common teeth myths.
1. You can whiten teeth with strawberries and baking soda
Have you heard the one about strawberries and baking soda giving you a whiter smile?
Well, apparently it’s not the quick fix we might have believed it to be.
“Teeth whitening should only ever be carried out by a qualified dental professional; dentist and or dental hygienist/therapist, under the prescription of a dentist,” says Fairhall.
“This will ensure the prevention of any detrimental effects to your teeth. Using home remedies such as strawberries and baking soda which are acidic and abrasive may lead to enamel erosion.”
2. There’s science behind the charcoal trend
If you own an Instagram account and/or have ever been a Love Island viewer (who hasn’t?) you’ll know that charcoal has been hailed as the ingredient du jour when it comes to bright white teeth.
As for the science, though? It’s still a tad shady.
“More evidence is needed to back up the current charcoal trend,” says Fairhall.
“Toothpastes claiming to whiten teeth are just more abrasive and so may help to remove surface stains. I would advise using a clinically proven routine such as Regenerate toothpaste, mouthwash and serum to help maintain healthy teeth and gums.”
3. Coffee is the main culprit for staining teeth
Coffee often gets a bad rap when it comes to the cause of off-white teeth, but is it really that bad? Well, yes and no.
“Coffee contains tannins which can cause stains on the teeth,” explains Fairhall.
“Coffee may seem to cause more staining than some other drinks containing tannins but this may just be due to our daily caffeine hits!
If these stains are not removed regularly by your dental hygienist they can become embedded in the deeper layers of the teeth causing yellowing.”
4. You should brush your teeth after every meal
The rumour that you should be brushing your teeth after every single meal isn’t only false, but could be doing damage to your gnashers.
“You should wait at least one hour after eating to brush your teeth,” insists Fairhall.
“Acidic foods and drinks soften the enamel making it more prone to enamel erosion.”
5. There’s nothing you can do about enamel erosion
The dreaded enamel erosion is often held up as the be all and end all of a good set of teeth. But is there really nothing to do about it?
“Enamel erosion is irreversible however, some toothpastes such as Regenerate - along with their mouthwash and serum - can help to remineralise early enamel erosion due to its technology.
It acts on early invisible stages of enamel erosion by restoring its mineral content and micro hardness with regular use,” says Fairhall.
“Composite bonding which is the build-up of the teeth using a white filling material may also be possible but the enamel it’s self will never grow back. If you are concerned about enamel erosion visit your dentist.”
Look after your teeth and act on early enamel erosion with Regenerate toothpaste.