Tooth cavities are one of the most common dental issues treated by your St. George dentist. Some people have the luck of learning about the implications of cavities and how to prevent them early in life. Many parents teach their children how to brush and floss correctly and diligently visit the dentist for cleanings and checkups. However, certain myths exist about cavities, and debunking them is important to provide everyone with a good knowledge of the risk factors, treatment and prevention of cavities.
Common cavity myths
According to St. George dentists, the following are common misconceptions people have about cavities:
Cavities only affect children
This is probably one of the most popular myths today. Many adults believe that cavities are only a problem for children that stops happening once they are older. This is not true. Since many public water supplies are being fluoridated, cases of childhood cavities are becoming fewer. Adults, especially seniors, are often on long-term medications for certain diseases and therefore battle dry mouth. Dry mouth is a risk factor of tooth decay, as is poor oral hygiene at any age.
Cavities stop occurring after filling a tooth
Treating a tooth cavity requires cleaning out the decay and closing the cavity with a filling material. Therefore, once the dentist has removed the decay and filled the tooth, many people think they no longer have to deal with cavities anymore. Although it is true that tooth decay will no longer occur on that particular spot after treatment, maintaining good oral care is necessary. The remaining teeth can still suffer cavities, as well as other parts of the treated tooth.
Sensitive teeth always mean tooth cavities
If drinking or eating cold or sweet food items causes pain to your teeth, most people think it is a definite sign of a teeth cavity. While it is entirely possible, tooth sensitivity can also be a result of several other factors aside from decay. For instance, gum recession, which exposes the roots of the tooth, can cause sensitivity, as well as degraded enamel, usually caused by teeth grinding or aggressive brushing.
Sugar is the only cause of tooth cavities
Many people have the opinion that avoiding sugary drinks and candies is a sure way to prevent cavities. Yes, sugar is a major cause of tooth decay, but it is not alone in the act. Bacterial plaque can form from carbs (such as bread, rice, potatoes), fruits and sugars. It creates an acid that attacks the tooth enamel and causes decay. The key to prevention is to limit your intake of carbs and sugary foods.
The main lesson your St. George dentist wants you to learn is that preventative care is crucial. Once you get cavities, your teeth lose their strength to an extent and ultimately become more vulnerable. The teeth are crucial, not just for enjoying the best meals, but also for speech and aesthetics. Ensure you maintain optimal oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. Also, do not forget to keep up with your dental appointments.
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