10 Must-Know Cavity Myths You Need to Bust Right Away

by | Dec 15, 2016 | Blog

You may assume only candy causes dental cavity or that kids get more cavities than adults. Truth is, though, a lot of the things you’ve heard about cavities, what causes them and how to avoid them may not be true — or as entirely true as you once thought. Let’s go over some myths and facts about cavities so you can move forward with the right knowledge to pass on to your kids.Cavity

Myth #1: Adults don’t get as many calories as kids. In fact, while you may assume because kids love candy and soda that they have way more cavities than their parents, the truth is actually the reverse. With advances in fluoride treatments every six months at the dentist as well as in the water supply, coupled with better education in schools about oral hygiene, decay in school-aged has been reduced by half in the last 20 years, says WebMD. Conversely, older adults are experiencing unprecedented cavity rates due to the prevalence of medications that tend to dry the mouth. When saliva is reduced, the protection it affords is lessened.Cavity

Myth #2: Sugars present in cookies and candy are the only culprit of cavities. Nope. cavities are actually caused by bacteria, which is a process that can be jump started by any number of foods with hidden sugar in them, including rice, potatoes, bread, fruits, and vegetables. That bacteria then produces acids that can add to the problem, especially if you’re drinking lots of acidic beverages such as juice and soda.Cavity

Myth #3: Putting an aspirin near the source of a toothache will make it go away. Nope again. You’ll have to actually consume that aspirin for it to have any pain relieving effects. Aspirin contains acids that can burn your gums and cause ulcers.

Myth #4: Fillings have a set life expectancy. While it is true that fillings don’t necessarily last forever, factors such as tooth wear and oral hygiene play a part in when you should have them replaced. Don’t let any dentist tell you there’s a certain timeline for fillings. It should depend on an individual basis.

Myth #5: No need to go to the dentist; if you don’t feel pain, you don’t have a cavity. Cavities don’t always cause pain, however, and you could be doing a lot more damage letting them fester if you don’t regularly see your dentist. At your six-month checkup, your dentist can take a look and see if anything is happening, fixing problems before they do start to hurt.

Myth #6: Once a cavity is treated, another one won’t crop up in its place. You can treat that one cavity, but lapsing back into poor oral hygiene habits may open the door for a new one to form next to the existing one or around it.

Myth #7: Tooth grinding causes cavities. This one isn’t as cut and dried. No, it can’t technically cause cavities, but tooth grinding can cause stress and wear on the enamel over time, leaving your tooth more vulnerable to decay.

Myth #8: Brushing is all you need to do to prevent cavities. In order to get into spaces between the teeth, you’ll also need to floss and use mouthwash in addition to brushing in order to fight cavities effectively.

Myth #9: Chips in your teeth don’t cause cavities. Yes they do, as they offer a great place for bacteria to hide and fester. Again, use a fluoride mouth rinse to combat decay.

Myth #10: Cavities are the only reason you need a root canal. Yes, unfilled cavities that are left untreated certainly do lead to the need for root canals; however, other things can too, such as grinding or clenching of the teeth or injury/trauma to the tooth.

Overall, it’s important to keep up with your six-month dental checkups. Call Dr. Gary C. Demetriou, D.M.D. in North Andover at 978-794-0010 today!