#1: Tooth decay is inevitable

Even though tooth decay becomes more common as you age, it is in fact entirely preventable. Practising good oral hygiene habits as well as seeing your dentist regularly will help maintain healthy teeth and keep them free from decay.

#2: White teeth are healthier teeth

Just because teeth are white doesn’t mean they are any healthier than discoloured teeth. As we age, our teeth naturally discolour and certain foods and drinks such as red wine or coffee contribute to this process.

#3: There’s no need to brush milk teeth

Even though your child will lose their milk teeth, it is important to care for them properly. Babies’ teeth need to be brushed twice per day from the moment the first tooth erupts.

#4: Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal is just as effective as brushing

Chewing gum after you eat can assist in neutralising acids as well as freshen your breath, but it should never be used as a substitute for brushing. Brushing twice per day as well as flossing is required to remove dental plague and remnants of food.

#5: Dental procedures should be avoided during pregnancy

While dental surgery and x-rays should be avoided during pregnancy, it is important to continue with regular dental treatments. This is especially because the changes in hormones during pregnancy alters the production of acids in the mouth, which means that a pregnant woman needs to be even more vigilant with her oral health than usual.

#6: It’s too late for braces

Advancements in dental technology and orthodontics mean that braces no longer have to be fitted during adolescence. Adults now have the opportunity to have braces fitted and many opt for the clear variety for a more discreet look. They will soon be able to smile with confidence as their teeth are realigned.

#7: Teeth whitening will damage teeth

If teeth are whitened professionally or by carefully following the instructions on over-the-counter whitening products, you should have nothing to worry about. Developments in whitening technology means that cosmetic teeth whitening is now safer than ever before.

#8: I’ll need false teeth when I’m older

Improvements in dental hygiene now mean that many of us keep our natural teeth well into old age. Approximately 90 % of elderly people these days have retained their natural teeth.

#9: Placing an aspirin directly on am aching tooth will relieve pain

This is an old at-home remedy that is not effective. The only effective way to use aspirin is to swallow it. See your dentist if your toothache is recurrent.

#10: Bad breath means you’re a bad brusher

Bad breath can be caused by a number of different factors, only one of which is poor dental hygiene. The food you consume is one of the major culprits and illnesses such as chest infections also frequently cause bad breath.