Myths and Facts about Cavities

girl brushing teeth - what causes cavities

Myths and Facts about Cavities

More than 90 percent of adults in the U.S. have cavities. We all learned about cavities as children, but for many of us the learning stopped there. Since there are a lot of common misconceptions about what causes cavities, in today’s post, our team at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott will help you separate fact from fiction. 

Myth #1: If you have a cavity, it will hurt. 

Fact: If you have decay that has progressed into more advanced stages, you might have pain  or experience sensitivity when eating something sweet, hot, or cold. But, when a cavity is just beginning to form, you might not have any symptoms at all. Cavities are much easier to treat at this stage—that’s why it’s important to get regular checkups and cleanings with Hicks Dental Group, even when you don’t feel any pain or sensitivity.

Myth #2: Regular brushing is enough to prevent cavities.

Fact: While brushing is essential to protect your teeth from decay, it’s not enough on its own. Avoiding food and drinks high in sugar and acid is also important—especially sticky foods and hard candy because they leave a coating of sugar on your teeth. Flossing is also a vital part of preventing cavities because it gets food particles out of hard to reach areas between the teeth. Using a fluoride rinse daily also helps prevent cavities.

Myth #3: Cavities in baby teeth don’t matter.

Fact: Healthy baby teeth are a precursor to healthy adult teeth. If your child develops cavities in their baby teeth, they may fall out before the permanent teeth are ready to come in. This can keep healthy permanent teeth from growing in the correct spot, resulting in teeth that aren’t lined up properly, which may require expensive orthodontic work down the road. Cavities in baby teeth can also be very painful for your child and cause serious infection and complications. That’s why it’s so important to start good oral hygiene practices with your child as soon as the first tooth pops up. 

Myth #4: Sugar is the only food that causes cavities. 

Fact: Yes, sugar in candy and drinks can absolutely lead to tooth decay and cavities. Bacteria in your mouth break sugars down into acids, which then attack your teeth. However, sugar isn’t the only food you need to worry about. Other foods like bread, beans, fruit, and potatoes also contain sugars that cause bacteria to stick to your teeth, leading to tooth decay. Food and drinks high in acid, even sugar-free sodas, contribute to tooth decay as well. The acid can break down the enamel coating that protects your teeth. Frequent snacking during the day also increases your chances of developing tooth decay.

Visit Hicks Dental in Prescott

Now that you understand more about what causes cavities, and why it’s important to get regular dental checkups, be sure to come in to Hicks Dental. Whether you’re a long-time patient or you’re looking for a dentist in Prescott, give us a call today to make your next appointment with one of our expertly trained dentists

Image by confidentdentalcare from Pixabay