Mythbusters

MYTH: It takes seven years for gum to digest.

Though you shouldn't be chewing gum with braces anyway, this statement is FALSE. The body digests gum in the same amount of time as regular food. It has been said that gum is indigestible. Though gum resists the body's efforts to break it down, it doesn't just stay in the stomach. It is eliminated from the body just as food. As gum travels through the digestive system, its form remains relatively unchanged. The notion that it is indigestible stems from the fact that gum cannot be broken down, further supporting the myth that it lurks in the digestive system year after year.

MYTH: Food remains germ-free when it is dropped on the floor and picked up within 5 seconds.

This is FALSE. There is no such thing as a 5 second rule. Bacteria and viruses attach by contact. So if you drop that delicious brownie or piece of cake on the floor, don't assume it's safe to eat within 5 seconds. You could get sick. Also, parents please remember when pacifiers and teething devices fall on the floor, wash and boil them thoroughly to rid them of harmful viruses and bacteria. A quick shake under hot water just won't do!

MYTH: Two people wearing braces can get their braces stuck together when kissing.

This is FALSE. When kissing, your braces shouldn't touch, so it's impossible for them to get stuck.

MYTH: If you leave a tooth in soda overnight, it will dissolve.

This is FALSE. It is impossible for Coca-Cola to dissolve a tooth, nail, penny, etc. overnight. Drinking too much can stain your teeth. Here's the logic behind this myth. Coke does contain acids that can dissolve teeth and other items overtime, but so does orange juice and other products we ingest. However, the amount of acid in these products is very low. Our digestive system is quite capable of handling Coke and other substances containing acid. Furthermore, our teeth are protected by enamel and saliva.

MYTH: Teeth can pick up radio signals.

Although this is possible in theory, it has never been medically proven. Any non-linear electrical circuit can demodulate AM radio signals, including rusted metal fillings, but a person would have to be very close to a broadcasting tower to hear the signal, which means sufficient strength would be needed to stimulate the mouth to vibrate at audio frequencies. Still, there have been reports of this happening since the launch of radio broadcasting.

MYTH: Video games can be helpful for doctors.

Believe it or not this is TRUE. Playing video games can improve eye-hand coordination. Research suggests that surgeons who play video games three hours a week make fewer mistakes performing specific procedures. Playing video games after homework can be a treat. It is best to combine outdoor physical activity with video games. However, if you play so much that your hand begins to hurt or you start having headaches, you should stop. As with any activity, moderation is key.

MYTH: Rockets utilize laughing gas in their engines.

This is true. In the motor, all rockets contain some kind of fuel and oxidizer. With solid rocket motors, an oxidizer is set in the fuel, so it will burn when lit until depleted. Liquid rockets contain a liquid oxygen oxidizer, while the fuel contains hydrogen or kerosene. Hybrid motors use nitrous oxide as oxidizer and hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (rubber) as fuel. Nitrous oxide self-pressurizes at room temperature and is environmentally friendly.

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