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  • Aaleeyah Pringle Alim: "You have to get your

  • wisdom teeth removed."

  • Amin Elsaeed: OK, big myth here.

  • Big, big, big myth. [Pringle Alim laughs]

  • "Charcoal toothpaste is better than regular toothpaste."

  • Pringle Alim: No. No, no, no.

  • "There's no such thing as brushing too much."

  • Elsaeed: Try to brush for at least two minutes, right?

  • Sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."

  • Pringle Alim: What? I feel like that's so short.

  • Elsaeed: No, like, sing the whole verse.

  • Hey, everyone, my name is Dr. Amin Elsaeed.

  • I'm a dentist working out of the Chicagoland area.

  • And my name is Dr. Aaleeyah Pringle Alim, also a dentist.

  • And we are here to debunk some dental myths.

  • Elsaeed: Myth No. 1: "Sugar causes cavities."

  • Pringle Alim: Oh, my gosh.

  • Sugar actually is not the cause of cavities.

  • In your mouth, you have active normal bacteria,

  • and when sugar is fed to that bacteria,

  • the bacteria produces acid,

  • and it creates cavities on teeth.

  • Elsaeed: So it's the fuel

  • for the bacteria to cause the cavities.

  • Pringle Alim: Myth two: "Electric toothbrushes

  • are better than regular toothbrushes."

  • Elsaeed: The most important thing

  • is that you are actually brushing, right?

  • So having that mechanical movement against your teeth,

  • whether it be an electric toothbrush,

  • a regular toothbrush,

  • that's the most important thing to prevent plaque

  • from sitting on the surfaces of our teeth.

  • So if you have a regular toothbrush,

  • you can still do a good job of brushing at home.

  • Myth No. 3: "White teeth are always healthy."

  • Pringle Alim: White teeth really just have to do

  • with how your enamel appears on the surface.

  • So, your tooth actually has three layers.

  • It has the inside core, which is the pulp.

  • It has that middle layer, which is yellow in color.

  • And then it has enamel, which shows up whiter.

  • It's like the armor of your tooth.

  • So, genetically speaking,

  • if you don't have the type of teeth

  • that will appear whiter after whitening,

  • you'll have to go maybe veneers or crowns

  • to get a whiter, whiter, whiter smile.

  • Elsaeed: It's very possible to have,

  • you know, cavities, bone loss,

  • periodontal disease, even with pearly white teeth.

  • Pringle Alim: All right, myth No. 4:

  • "There's no such thing as brushing too much."

  • Elsaeed: Anytime you want to take plaque off your teeth,

  • we're all for it.

  • But then it comes to how hard are you brushing, right?

  • Some people go in there, and it's like a chain saw.

  • They're just [makes chain-saw noise].

  • And what ends up happening is when you break down

  • that enamel by so much, so much hard and vigorous brushing,

  • you end up getting sensitivity.

  • So people are like, "Oh, I drink something,

  • and my teeth hurt."

  • Pringle Alim: Go and you look at your toothbrush,

  • and if the bristles are flared out like this,

  • you're doing it too hard.

  • Elsaeed: Myth No. 5: "Drinking with a straw

  • is better for your teeth."

  • Pringle Alim: This is kind of true, but also kind of false.

  • So, drinking through a straw

  • is theoretically better for your teeth

  • if done the right way.

  • So, if you drink through the straw

  • and the liquid literally just passes from the straw

  • maybe to your tongue to your throat

  • and you swallow, then that's OK.

  • But the problem comes with

  • when people drink through the straw

  • and they still kind of swish it around in their mouths,

  • that kind of defeats the purpose

  • of drinking through the straw.

  • It's damaging your teeth

  • the longer that that liquid sits on your teeth.

  • So, drink it fast if you can,

  • drink it through a straw the right way if you can,

  • and always, always, always follow it up with water.

  • If you can follow up your acidic drinks with water,

  • you can help your body get your pH back down to neutral

  • or back up to neutral quicker.

  • Myth six:

  • "Brushing harder makes your teeth cleaner."

  • Elsaeed: OK, brushing harder

  • does not make your teeth cleaner.

  • What makes your teeth cleaner is effective brushing.

  • If you're brushing the right way, right?

  • If I take my toothbrush

  • and I'm jamming it in there

  • with 600 pounds of force against my teeth,

  • I'm causing a lot of damage.

  • So it's not about the strength; it's more about the motion.

  • Pringle Alim: Angle your toothbrush a little bit

  • so that the bristles are actually angled into the gums,

  • and you move back and forth.

  • Think about brushing two to three teeth at a time,

  • instead of large, big strokes.

  • Elsaeed: Myth No. 7. This is a good one.

  • "Charcoal toothpaste is better than regular toothpaste."

  • Pringle Alim: There is no research that suggests

  • that charcoal toothpaste is better

  • than your normal fluoride toothpaste. Zero.

  • What people are kind of attracted to

  • about charcoal toothpaste is that it promotes

  • the idea that it will whiten your teeth.

  • People went as far as to taking raw charcoal,

  • like, just kind of charcoal powder,

  • and brushing their teeth with that

  • in hopes that they were going to, like,

  • I don't know, unlock a secret whitened-tooth door.

  • No. No, no, no.

  • So, what can end up happening is,

  • if you use charcoal too much,

  • you can end up wearing away your enamel,

  • which will then make your teeth appear more yellow,

  • the opposite of what you want.

  • Myth 8: "You have to get your wisdom teeth removed."

  • Elsaeed: OK, big myth here.

  • Big, big, big myth, I know. [Pringle Alim laughs]

  • Listen, man, let me tell you, let me tell you,

  • you do not have to get your wisdom teeth removed.

  • If there is a specific reason,

  • like it's causing you pain,

  • the tooth now has a giant cavity,

  • the tooth is impacted or now pushing up

  • against the tooth in front of it

  • and now it's just causing a whole drama

  • inside your mouth, right?

  • For a lot of people, that can be a very valid reason

  • to have those teeth removed.

  • And another reason that these teeth

  • should be removed sometimes is

  • getting to those third molars by ourselves at home

  • and cleaning them, or these wisdom teeth,

  • can be very, very difficult.

  • Pringle Alim: If they're in line with the others

  • and if they're completely fine,

  • yeah, you treat it like any other tooth.

  • Elsaeed: Myth No. 9:

  • "You should brush right after every meal."

  • Pringle Alim: After you eat, your mouth becomes more acidic.

  • So, it just naturally does. It doesn't matter what you eat.

  • And if you take something mechanical, like bristles,

  • and rub it up against your enamel in an acidic environment,

  • you can more easily wear down your enamel,

  • and you're doing more harm than good.

  • So what you wanna do, you wanna wait a little bit.

  • You wanna wait at least 30 minutes

  • until your mouth gets more basic, more neutral,

  • and then go in and brush.

  • Elsaeed: I always tell my patients, you know,

  • if you eat and then you have food stuck in your teeth,

  • you're literally throwing a free buffet

  • to bacteria that didn't pay to get in there.

  • Pringle Alim: Myth 10:

  • "Teeth grinding is not a serious problem."

  • Elsaeed: A lot of people

  • don't know that they grind their teeth.

  • A lot of it is you grind at night

  • subconsciously when you're asleep.

  • You don't even recognize that you're doing it.

  • So, what teeth grinding does, No. 1,

  • it can start wearing away at the surfaces of your teeth.

  • So, if you wear away the protective layer,

  • now you are at a much higher risk

  • of having way more sensitive teeth.

  • When you used to drink a cold glass of water before

  • and didn't feel anything, now there's a chance,

  • if you drink that cold glass of water without enamel,

  • that you may have experiences with some sensitivity.

  • Another reason that grinding is a serious problem

  • is that it can have effects on our jaw.

  • Pringle Alim: If you're like me and you're a grinder,

  • you definitely need to get a mouth guard.

  • Teeth grinding is definitely on the rise.

  • Elsaeed: Myth No. 11: "Gum bleeding means

  • you should stop flossing."

  • Pringle Alim: Do not stop flossing because your gums bleed.

  • You gotta just push through it.

  • Gum bleeding basically means

  • that there has been so much inflammation around your tooth

  • and so much potential foodstuff that's kind of stuck there,

  • when you disturb it with the floss,

  • your gums get angry, and then they start to bleed.

  • Elsaeed: Flossing is never going to have

  • a negative effect on your oral cavity.

  • Pringle Alim: Coming in hot with myth No. 12:

  • "Aligners will straighten your teeth."

  • Elsaeed: OK, this is a very loaded question.

  • What is the stability of their teeth?

  • How long are they going to keep these teeth?

  • Are their gums healthy? Is the bone healthy?

  • By jumping into aligners

  • without having that very crucial knowledge,

  • there's a chance that when you're trying

  • to straighten these teeth,

  • you could lose these teeth.

  • Pringle Alim: A good rule of thumb for me is,

  • if they don't take X-rays and they wanna move your teeth,

  • you probably should not let them do that.

  • Elsaeed: Myth lucky No. 13:

  • "Toothaches always mean cavities."

  • Pringle Alim: When you think about a cavity,

  • you think of a small hole in your tooth

  • that's gonna get filled with something.

  • You don't know what, the dentist does it,

  • and then it's fixed.

  • But a toothache can be kind of an indicator

  • for something way more serious.

  • So, it could possibly be an indication

  • for bone loss.

  • When you bite down and you're having a lot of pain,

  • it could be because the bone around your tooth

  • has started to resorb, started to disappear.

  • It can be an indication of a fracture in your tooth.

  • Myth 14: "Chewing gum

  • is just as good as brushing."

  • Elsaeed: Chewing gum is nowhere near

  • as good as brushing, right?

  • So, chewing gum definitely has

  • some positive properties, OK?

  • No. 1, if you're gonna chew gum,

  • you wanna try to chew sugar-free gum.

  • Or, if you wanna look for gum that has xylitol in it,

  • which is a great sugar option in your gum,

  • what that's gonna do is

  • it's going to promote saliva production.

  • But, for as great as chewing sugar-free gum is,

  • it will never take away

  • or be a substitute for brushing, right?

  • You have to go in there with the mechanical work,

  • toothbrush, whether electric, manual,

  • and get those surfaces of those teeth

  • clean and free of plaque.

  • Pringle Alim: Your oral health

  • is a part of your overall health.

  • So, it's not something separate.

  • Like, you can't just take your mouth out

  • and put it someplace.

  • You have to treat it like it's a part of your body.

  • And so daily maintenance is crucial.

  • Elsaeed: A lot of people have, you know, dental anxiety.

  • Like, it's normal. It's a lot to think about.

  • There are so many factors that people think about

  • before deciding to go to a dentist.

  • Sometimes going to the dentist to just talk

  • can really make a difference.

  • Pringle Alim: If you want more information

  • about oral health and just best practices,