Chances are you’ve heard and read all sorts of things about dental caries. You probably have a gist of what it means to have a cavity and some understanding of what’s caused it, but are you also under the impression that the following listed statements are true? Clearing up cavity myths can lead to better understanding and better prevention!
Only kids get cavities. We’re sure if you’re an adult there’s probably a chance you’ve already disproved this yourself. So maybe the myth isn’t only kids get cavities, but it seems that many people are under the impression that kids are much more likely to experience a cavity than adults. This may be partially true, but the reason is a lot more obvious than you’d think. There’s nothing about baby teeth that are inherently more at risk for cavities. Instead, many kids haven’t learned proper dental hygiene methods and so are disadvantaged in preventing tartar build up and tooth decay. As an adult you are just as likely to experience a cavity if you also don’t practice proper dental hygiene techniques!
You only get cavities if you eat a lot of sugar. It’s true that if you eat a lot of sugar you’re more likely to get a cavity. But that isn’t exactly the sole cause of them. You develop a cavity when acid wears down and corrodes your teeth. This acid is a result of bacteria in your mouth. It’s easy for these bacteria to grow and remain on your teeth when you eat carbohydrates. Sugar is a carbohydrate. In this way, yes, sugar does cause cavities. But there are many other foods rich in carbohydrates that you eat (and should eat!) that can have the same effect. Remember though that it’s not about how many carbohydrates you eat, but about how often you eat them. That is to say, your teeth aren’t affected by the amount you intake, but how often you intake them. If you were to have a single soda a day, but spend eight hours sipping on it to finish it, you’d be at a higher risk to experience a cavity than someone who has three sodas but spends ten minutes consuming each one. Prolonged exposure to these carbohydrates facilitates the growth of bacteria in your mouth.
You’ll have to replace any filling at some point. This isn’t necessarily true at all. There are several different types of fillings, composed of various materials. Each one has a different expected life expectancy. Some of these can be expected to last you your whole life. Other things that affect the durability of a filling are your dental hygiene habits and diet. If you’re constantly crunching hard candies you can expect your filling to experience some wear, but if you take care of your teeth and watch what you eat they won’t need replacement.
Another interesting fact is that some cavities aren’t the result of poor dental hygiene or diet, but tooth grinding and clenching! It’s always safest to have yourself checked by a dentist. Call Dr. Bosse of Greenspoint Dental today and schedule an appointment!