Sugar Doesn’t Actually Cause Cavities: 5 Dental Myths Debunked

Woman eating chocolate

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Before you spend that extra dollar on a whitening toothpaste, you may want to read this. It turns out, you can’t believe everything you read on a product label (shocking, we know). We spoke with New York-based cosmetic dentist Dr. Marc Lowenberg who busted this dental myth and a few more commonly held ideas. Who knew a dentist could have us thinking, “Pass the gummy bears?”

Eating Candy Causes Cavities: Nope!

As an adult, as long as you brush and floss twice a day and remove the sugary candy substance, it does not necessarily cause cavities. It’s only when candy is not removed via good dental home care (and therefore stays on your teeth) that it can cause cavity formation.

Chewing Gum Is Bad for Your Teeth: Not True!

Chewing gum actually stimulates saliva production, which helps flush your mouth of foods and beverages that can stain teeth, but it is best to use sugar-free gum.

Whitening Toothpaste Bleaches Teeth: No!

Whitening toothpaste alone is not strong enough to achieve a whiter smile — it must be used in conjunction with other at‐home whitening products or as a follow-up to an in‐office whitening treatment. Whitening toothpaste, at best, removes surface stains from teeth.

Brushing Is as Good as Flossing: Wrong!

Flossing daily is necessary for healthy gums because it dislodges food that is stuck between the teeth where a brush cannot reach. Food debris caught between teeth can cause bad breath.

A Hard‐Bristle Toothbrush Is Best: False!

Brushing too vigorously with a hard‐bristle brush may cause irritation and erosion of the gums and tooth enamel.