Most people work hard to keep their teeth healthy. Brushing and flossing help you achieve this goal, and regular dental visits keep your smile looking great as well. We all know the basics about good oral health, but these common myths about cavities might surprise you.
Myth: Sugar is the top cause of cavities
Truth: Certainly a primary factor in cavity development, sugar alone isn’t the issue. The acid produced by bacteria in your mouth generates the cavities. These bacteria actually increase production when you eat carbohydrates, which include sugar. However, rice, potatoes, bread, and certain starchy fruits and vegetables can also contribute to decay, so try to limit exposure to these foods by not snacking all day long.
Myth: Children develop more cavities than adults
Truth: Actually, decay in school-aged children has dropped in half over the last 20 years, thanks in large part to fluoride in water.
Myth: You can tell if you have a cavity
Truth: By the time you feel pain from tooth decay, the cavity is probably large and may cause nerve damage. Routine checkups allow your dentist to check for cavities and repair them before additional problems occur.
Myth: Sensitive teeth are caused by tooth decay
Truth: When you develop a cavity, your tooth may become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Other factors, though, can contribute to teeth sensitivity, including gum recession, cracks in teeth, and acidic foods.
Myth: Cavities in baby teeth are no big deal
Truth: Although your child will eventually loss all of his or her primary teeth, they play an important role in oral health. Baby teeth serve as placeholders for permanent teeth, as well as aiding in proper speech development and in chewing function.