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Mouth myths and facts quiz

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Eating a lot of sugar causes cavities.

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Eating a lot of sugar causes cavities.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It’s the length of time sugar stays in your mouth, rather than the amount you eat, that determines tooth damage. Sugar is a carbohydrate and bacteria in your mouth make acid when you consume anything containing carbohydrates. The longer your teeth are exposed, the more acid is created.

 

Sugars in honey or juice can also cause decay, so if you like sweet drinks, limit exposure to them by finishing them quickly rather than sipping on them over time.

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Your teeth can still be harmed by sugar-free, fizzy drinks.

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Your teeth can still be harmed by sugar-free, fizzy drinks.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Some fizzy drinks may not contain sugar but they are still high in acid.They are the biggest culprits for causing damage to tooth enamel. Acidic drinks like squash or fruit juice cause erosion, which is serious, because once the enamel is gone, it’s gone for good. If you must have acidic drinks, try diluting them with water, using a straw which limits contact with teeth and avoid swishing them around your mouth. Better still, choose water or milk.

Which food is good for your smile?

Which food is good for your smile?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Firm vegetables with a high water content such as celery or carrots dilute the effects of sugar, stimulate saliva that neutralises acids and helps wash away food particles that cause decay.

 

Fruit is good for you, but tomatoes or citrus fruits, such as oranges, can be acidic for your teeth. Dried fruit has a high sugar content and can remain on teeth for a long time. So, an apple a day really may be best to keep the tooth doctor away!

Professional tooth whitening is more powerful than over-the-counter whitening kits.

Professional tooth whitening is more powerful than over-the-counter whitening kits.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Under EU rules, home teeth whitening kits in the UK are only allowed to contain 0.1% of the bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide. Products used by dentists are stronger, using up to 6% hydrogen peroxide. Dentists also offer newer whitening techniques such as lasers. The British Dental Association urges caution if using home kits and suggests getting advice from a dentist if you choose this option. It's also illegal for anyone but a dentist or his/her staff to carry out professional whitening. It's considered a cosmetic procedure and not funded by the NHS unless there’s a medical reason for it.

Your should get a new toothbrush: 

Your should get a new toothbrush: 

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Most toothbrushes need replacing every 2 to 3 months - or sooner if the bristles are frayed or flat. Brushes wear out with the recommended twice-daily use and become less effective at removing plaque. If your brush still looks healthy from one season to the next, you may want to ensure you are brushing long and often enough.

You should always use mouth wash after brushing and flossing. 

You should always use mouth wash after brushing and flossing. 

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Your dentist is the best person to determine whether you should use a mouthwash or not. Rinsing with one can help get rid of food particles that may be hidden in hard to reach areas. Follow the instructions on the bottle or your dentist's advice. Don't use mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth. Don't eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.

Which condition increases your risk of losing a tooth?

Which condition increases your risk of losing a tooth?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Having diabetes can increase your risk of oral problems such as gum disease. Slower healing, fungal infections, dry mouth and cavities are also associated with diabetes. Osteoporosis can affect oral health too, increasing the risk of bone loss in your jaw, which can loosen the teeth.

 

The good news is that good dental hygiene can help prevent these problems. So if you have either condition, take special care of your teeth and gums. If you have osteoporosis, you may also want to check you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D.

The best kind of toothbrush has:

The best kind of toothbrush has:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

The British Dental Association recommends choosing a toothbrush that has soft or medium bristles. Hard bristles can wear down the surface of your teeth if you brush too hard. A brush with a small, angled head also makes it easier to manoeuvre around your mouth and get to hard-to-reach spots.

 

You can use an electric toothbrush but there is little or no difference between this and a traditional brush. Brush for at least 2 minutes in the morning before breakfast and last thing at night. Brush all around the tooth, including along the gumline. For fresh breath, gently brush your tongue to get rid of bacteria.

After a meal, when should you brush your teeth? 

After a meal, when should you brush your teeth? 

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It is important to brush your teeth after consuming acidic food or drinks, but timing is critical. Never brush your teeth right after a meal as it can leave teeth more vulnerable to acid attack. This is because the tooth enamel is softened allowing acid to penetrate even deeper. Even brushing 20 minutes after drinking a fizzy drink eroded the layer of tooth under the enamel in one study. Wait an hour after a meal before brushing.

You only get gum disease if you have cavities

You only get gum disease if you have cavities

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Gum disease is very common in the UK with most adults having some form of it. It’s often painless, so you may not know you have it. You can have gum disease without having cavities – although they are both caused by plaque. Smoking, poor diet, stress, certain medicines or your family history can increase your risk. If left untreated, gum disease can start eating away at the bone that supports the tooth. To avoid it, stop smoking, pay special attention to the gumline when brushing and see your dentist if your gums are red, puffy or sore.

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Your Score:   You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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Well done! You have plenty to smile about and know how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

OK, but you could do better. Check up on your mouth myths and facts and try again.

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