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Crazy Dental Myths Debunked!

  Myths, legends, and mysteries. They are as much a part of the human tapestry as proven facts. But while some, like Bigfoot and that one about getting sick from not dressing warmly enough, won’t seem to go away, here are a few of the weirdest dental-related myths that have been thankfully dis-proven over time.

Swallowed gum stays in your stomach for seven years.

When you were a kid, your parents might have told you not to swallow your gum because it stays in your stomach for seven years. Thankfully, mom and dad were wrong about this one. Gum, like any food, can be broken down by stomach acid at the same speed as other foods and is flushed away down your intestines with the rest of the food in your stomach during the digestion process. The average time it takes to digest any food is about 6-8 hours, so the longest swallowed gum should stay in your system is no more than a third of a day!

Soaking a tooth in Cola overnight will dissolve it.

According to, this one is indeed false. While acidic drinks like cola do erode the enamel of your teeth over time, it would take a lot longer than overnight to dissolve a tooth, and the risk of this sort of thing happening to a tooth that’s still in your mouth is nonexistent. Think about it? Who would keep a soda in their mouth overnight or longer? That being said, when you do have an occasional glass of cola, make sure you rinse your mouth with water after and brush your teeth no sooner than 30 minutes after drinking to give your enamel a chance to recover from the acidity.

Putting on the Left Shoe first will prevent a toothache.

Believe it or not, according to the book "Superstitions: and Why We have Them," by Max Cryer, people used to think if you put on your left shoe first, you’d never get a toothache. Obviously, this isn’t true (try it!) but for some reason, the myth stuck around for quite a while!

Kissing a donkey heals a toothache.

Got a toothache? Why not kiss a donkey? That’s the advice you might have gotten if you had a toothache in the Middle Ages. It’s not clear how this ever got started, but it probably stopped when people realized that kissing donkeys did absolutely nothing for their teeth!

Hot and Cold temperatures can crack your teeth.

This is another myth that just isn’t true. Your teeth are designed to withstand heat and cold. Think of it this way: if your body can survive the temperature, your teeth can too. If having a hot bowl of soup followed by an ice cream sundae won’t hurt the rest of your body, it won’t crack your teeth, either. That’s not to say that if you have sensitive teeth switching from a hot food to a cold food won’t cause some sensitivity, but it certainly won’t damage your teeth!

If you’ve heard any other weird dental myths you need busted or have any dental questions or concerns, give Dr. Simpson’s office a call at 910-550-3959.

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

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3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
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Wilmington, NC 28409