Cavities are undesirable, and they should be prevented whenever possible. Most parents teach their kids about the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. Many people are diligent when it comes to visiting their dentists twice a year for preventive checkups and cleanings.
However, there are still some myths related to cavities – both among children and adults. Let us debunk some of these myths today so that we all have a solid understanding of preventative measures, risk factors, and treatment options.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions about cavities:
#01. Cavities are a childhood problem.
This is one of the most popular cavity myths all around the world. Many adults believe that cavities occur during childhood and that it something that they can leave behind when they get older. However, that is not the case. In reality, more adults tend to have more cavities than children.
#02. Once you get a tooth filling, it will not be affected by cavities anymore.
Again, this is FALSE. The filling process involves the decay being removed by the dentist, then filling in the cavity. When the decay has been removed and replaced, most people think that they do not have to worry about that tooth anymore. While decay at that particular spot is stopped after the treatment, it is still a must to maintain good oral hygiene. The rest of your teeth can still develop cavities, and it can also develop decay around or next to the filling. Remember, fillings do not give us a free pass to neglect our oral health.
#03. If your teeth are sensitive, you have a cavity.
Tooth sensitivity can be caused be several culprits – not just decay. For instance, gum recession is a condition that results in exposed roots of the teeth, and it is a major cause of sensitivity. Worn enamel can also lead to teeth sensitivity, and this is often caused by aggressive brushing or bruxism (grinding of the teeth).
#04. Gaps in teeth are a risk factor for tooth decay.
This myth most likely originated from the concept that flossing is important because it is able to get to the hard-to-reach areas between our teeth. As true as that may be, gaps in the teeth are not a risk factor for decay. Large gaps, in fact, make flossing and brushing between those teeth easier!
#05. Sugar is the only cause of tooth decay.
Many people also believe that if they avoid drinking soda or eating sugar candy, they will not develop cavities. While sugar is a major culprit behind tooth decay, it is NOT the only one. Plaque, a sticky film, is always forming on the teeth. When you eat sugar or carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, fruits, bread), the plaque feeds on it. It then produces acid, which eats away at the teeth, leading to decay.
Learn more about cavity prevention and tooth decay; contact us today and set up an appointment with one of our trusted dental professionals.