The Singing Dentist features on Lorraine

FROM BAD BREATH TO BRUSHING, THE MAN DUBBED THE SINGING DENTIST JOINED FIONA TO DEBUNK SOME COMMON MYTHS AROUND ORAL HEALTH.

Myth 1: There is never a bad time to brush your teeth is FALSE

The singing dentist says the human mouth has a one-two punch to defend itself. One is tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. The second line of defense is saliva. Give your body's natural ability to break down foods a chance to work after you eat. The acidic environment in your mouth temporarily softens the enamel on teeth while it breaks down food particles and washes them away. Brush too soon after meals and you'll end up scrubbing away tooth enamel in the process. It's not a bad idea to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes before grabbing that toothbrush.

Myth 2: Eating cheese after a meal is good for your teeth is TRUE

It might sound unlikely, but one of the best and easiest ways to combat acid erosion in your teeth is to eat a piece of cheese after every meal. Cheese contains alkali, which neutralises the acid left by the food you've consumed; drinks such as Coca-Cola, and sweet foods such as cakes and biscuits, are particularly acidic, so eating cheese after these will be effective.

Myth 3: Having bad breath indicates a problem with your teeth is FALSE

Although tooth decay and gum disease is a common cause of halitosis, there are many other reasons too. Bacteria and food debris can collect on the tongue, which can cause the odour, so cleaning the tongue can help. Some medication can cause bad breath and some medical conditions can also contribute, for example, stomach problems and reflux, diabetes, bronchitis, tonsillitis and sinusitis. Also, dry mouth is a major cause of bad breath as the composition and flow of saliva is affected, for example when you are hungry, dehydrated or the dreaded morning breath.

Myth 4: You should rinse your teeth after brushing is FALSE

No one should rinse after brushing because the fluoride in toothpaste will continue to protect the teeth for 30 minutes. It also pays to take a careful look at their toothpaste: some children's products don't contain enough fluoride. For children under three, go for one with 1,000 parts per million. After three, they should use adult toothpaste, which is 1,450 parts per million.

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