From a young age, most of us know that regular brushing and flossing helps keep our teeth healthy. Beyond this, however, there is plenty of room for confusion and misunderstandings. Is brushing twice a day all it takes to keep the dentist away? Can you get cavities even if you don’t eat sugar? Do all cavities need to be filled? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, we’re here to shed some light with truthful answers to the most common dental myths.
1. Myth: Cavities Are Caused by Sugar
Fact: Sugar can certainly lead to tooth decay — but it’s not the only cavity culprit. Many other foods can cause tooth decay as well.
Sticky foods, like beef jerky, peanut butter or caramel, can get stuck on your teeth and eventually cause cavities. Acidic food and drinks, like citrus juices and sodas, are also commonly linked to tooth decay. That means cutting out all sugary foods won’t necessarily save you a cavity down the road. No matter what you’re eating or drinking, it’s important to brush at least twice daily, floss once a day and drink plenty of water between snacks.
2. Myth: You Know You Have a Cavity When Your Tooth Hurts
Fact: Cavities don’t always have noticeable symptoms, so you might not experience any pain until the decay is advanced. Once the cavity gets larger, you’ll probably start to experience discomfort and sensitivity to heat and cold. Regular dental visits and taking dental x-rays are crucial to spotting and treating decay in its early stages.
3. Myth: You Can Get Rid of Cavities on Your Own
Fact: Can you brush away a cavity? Or, can cavities go away on their own? Unfortunately, no. Once a cavity starts to form, you’ll need professional dental treatment to get it to go away. Brushing and flossing are your best tools for preventive care, but going to the dentist is the only surefire successful strategy for getting rid of cavities once they develop.
4. Myth: Once You’ve Had a Filling, You’re Good to Go
Fact: Once you’ve had a tooth filling, you’ll need to continue paying attention to and caring for your tooth. Yes, your cavity has been treated — that’s a great start. But after you’ve had a tooth filling, it’s important to keep an eye on your tooth long-term. Wondering how to prevent cavities from getting worse? Brush and floss every day with care, paying particular attention to any fillings. Keep an eye on any cracks in your filling, and continue scheduling checkups on a regular basis.
5. Myth: If I Brush My Teeth Every Day, I Won’t Get a Cavity
Fact: While brushing is an essential part of keeping your teeth healthy, it’s not enough to keep decay away on its own. You’ll need to take other measures to prevent cavities. For example, you should floss at least once a day and rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash regularly. You’ll also want to try and minimize your intake of sugary or acidic food and drinks.
Have Questions About Cavity Myths? Reach Out to Fox Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics Today
At Fox Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics, we specialize in pediatric dentistry and can provide orthodontics for kids and adults of all ages. We’re committed to helping children of all ages keep their teeth healthy and clean. This includes giving proper dental hygiene education from a young age. We’re here to equip you with the answers to all your dental questions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!