(Actual patient of Chenin Orthodontics)

The information on this web page is based upon fun questions and interests of children, teenagers and adults.

1. Teeth can pick up radio signals???

FALSE... although it is theoretically possible, but there has never ever been a medically proven case. Here is the science behind it: "Any non-linear electrical circuit can demodulate AM radio signals. Slightly corroded metal fillings, or even an electrolytic connection can do the job (it makes what amounts to an old-fashioned crystal set). It is *possible* to have your tooth fillings function as a crystal set, but I would think that you would have to be pretty close to the broadcasting tower to be able to hear the demodulated signal, which would have to be of sufficient strength to cause something in the mouth to vibrate at audio frequencies. Nevertheless there have been reports of this phenomenon practically from the inception of radio broadcasting." Data is courtesy Urban Legends.Com, Copyright 2004 All Rights reserved.

2. Gum takes seven years to digest???

FALSE. It takes the same amount of time as regular food items. REMINDER: You shouldn't be chewing gum with braces. =) Here is the science behind it: This oft-repeated claim may stem from genuine confusion over a term commonly applied to chewing gum: indigestible. Although gum resists the body's efforts to break it down (hence the 'indigestible' designation), it does not linger in the stomach. Gum is eliminated as human waste in the same way - and at the same rate - as any other swallowed matter. Granted, it comes out the far end relatively unchanged by the trip, but it does come out on schedule. Chewing gum is quickly worked into an unchanging mass in the mouth that, unlike foodstuffs, barely gets smaller no matter how hard or how long we chew it. Its resistance to being broken down by the teeth works to support the fanciful notion that it has special properties which allow it to lurk in the digestive system year after year. Moreover, since we know we're not supposed to swallow gum, imagination kicks in, inventing a "reason" for this prohibition since the obvious one - that it's not food - lacks an appropriate sense of mystery. Data is courtesy Urban Legends.Com, Copyright 2004 All Rights reserved.

3. Video games can sometimes be helpful for doctors???

TRUE. Believe it or not, playing video games can improve specific types of eye-hand coordination. Here is the science behind it: Studies show that surgeons who play video games 3 hours a week had 37% less mistakes performing certain procedures. Playing video games after you finish your homework is a must. Also, it is best to alternate outside physical activity with video game play. If you are playing video games so much that your hand starts to get sore or that you get headaches, then you should stop right away. The best rule of thumb is moderation. Click here to read the actual report!

4. Teeth will dissolve if left in a glass of soda-pop overnight???

FALSE. Coca-Cola will not dissolve a tooth (or a nail, penny or a piece of meat) overnight. But drinking too much is not healthy for your diet and will cause your teeth to be stained. Here is the science behind it: Coca-Cola contains acids (such as citric acid and phosphoric acid) which will eventually dissolve items such as teeth (given enough time), but so do plenty of other substances we commonly ingest (such as orange juice). The concentration of acid in these products is so low that our digestive systems are easily capable of coping with it with no harm to us. The idea that any substance which can dissolve teeth must therefore damage our teeth if we drink it is nonsensical. We don't hold drinks in our mouths for days at a time - any liquids we drink simply wash over our teeth very briefly, and our teeth are further protected by their enamel coating and the ameliorating effects of saliva. Data is courtesy Snopes.Com, Copyright 2004, All Rights reserved.

5. Food will remain germ-free if dropped on the floor and picked up within 5 seconds???

FALSE. Unlike baseball, when food hits the ground, it's out. Here is the science behind it: Bacteria and viruses grab on by contact, and even brief encounters of the split-second variety can be more than enough for them to claim a new home address. They harbor no respect for a time barrier of a specific number of seconds. There is no five-second rule. The to-die-for brownie that just hit the floor may have instantly acquired a deadly literalness if we're foolish enough to persist in thinking of it as still being fit to eat. Likewise, parents whose children use teething devices or soothers should not rely upon the fast retrieval of these items when they hit the floor but should instead always wash and boil them lest they pass dreadful contagions to their children. (And no, a quick shake under hot water won't do.) Data is courtesy Snopes.Com, Copyright 2004, All Rights reserved.

6. Two people will get their braces stuck together if they kiss???

FALSE. We have never heard of this truly happening.

Here is the science behind it: During normal kissing your braces won't touch, so they can't get tangled up with each other! Kissing is not something that has to be given up to have a healthy bite and a nice smile.

If you both have braces, don't worry!

7. Rockets use laughing gas in their engine???

TRUE. SpaceShipOne, the first privately manned spaceship, uses laughing gas and a rubber compound in the booster. All rocket motors have some form of "fuel" and an "oxidizer". In solid rocket motors the oxidizer is embedded into the fuel (like an Estes rocket motor) and when lighted will burn until depleted. In liquid rockets the oxidizer is usually liquid oxygen and the fuel another liquid like hydrogen or kerosene. In our hybrid motor we use Nitrous Oxide (N2O or laughing gas) as an oxidizer and hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB or rubber) as the fuel. Both of these can be safely stored without special precautions and will not react when put together. Finally N2O has the nice quality of self-pressurizing when at room temperature so that the space ship doesn't need complicated turbo pumps or plumbing to move the oxidizer into the combustion chamber. It is environmentally friendly too. The products of combustion are mostly benign (water vapor, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and nitrogen and some carbon monoxide) and certainly much more friendly than any other class of rocket propulsion. Data courtesy, All Rights reserved.