Cavities: Myths and Facts You Should Be Aware Of
Everybody, young or old, is afraid of dental cavities or what we commonly call tooth decay. Hundreds of years ago, ancient folks used to believe that worms are responsible for one’s toothaches. They are said to be boring their way into teeth. If a tooth was aching, then that only meant the worm is wiggling.
Now we all know that that particular story is nothing but a myth, although it still is an interesting theory that seems to work wonders with children. But while that particular myth is already established as such, there are some that still confuse us.
Here we will clear the air about what is factual and what is actually a myth:
MYTH: Only Sugar Can Cause Cavities
Here is how one opens the door to some serious cavities – You eat. Bacteria in your mouth then act on the food that you have eaten and produce acid that attacks your teeth. This bacterial activity requires carbohydrates like rice, bread, potatoes, and also sugar. Those are the primary source of energy of those bacteria. Remember that for a tooth to actually decay, four things are needed: a tooth surface, bacteria that causes caries, carbohydrates that can be fermented, and time. Sugar is not the sole culprit.
FACT: Acidic Foods Can Cause Cavities
Citrusy foods and juices like lemons can break down your tooth’s enamel and weaken it. Weaker teeth are more prone to decay. Like we mentioned bacteria act on food substances to produce acid, eating foods that are already acidic speeds up the process.
MYTH: You Shouldn’t Worry About Cavities in Baby Teeth
This cannot be farther from the truth – so please do worry! What many do not realize is that baby teeth actually keep the space in line for permanent teeth. Aside from that, cavities are a bacterial infection that when left untreated may spread into the adult teeth that are also developing underneath. Early loss of baby teeth due to a cavity blocks and disrupts the ideal eruption of the adult teeth.
FACT: The Decay Stops As Soon as the Tooth is Treated
A tooth is not capable of repairing itself. That is why when there is a cavity; “fillings” should cover the hole. Your dentist fills that cavity with the right amount of restorative material and the decay at that particular spot stops. However, that does not give immunity to the tooth. Without proper care, a new cavity may start to develop in the same tooth.
MYTH: Gaps in Between Teeth Cause Cavities
This is just a myth. In truth, it is easier to clean teeth with big gaps in between. The spaces make it harder for bacteria to reside there. Therefore it is less likely for you to get cavities.
FACT: You Can Actually Prevent Cavities
This is true. A cavity that is sealed on time can save a tooth. Prevention is always better than cure. You can prevent cavities from forming by brushing your teeth twice in a day, as well as flossing and rinsing.
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