5 Myths About Tooth Decay

Saturday, December 5th, 2015, 3:45 pm

There are lots of myths out there about dental care and oral health. Let’s bust a few of the myths about tooth decay!

  1. Sugar causes tooth decay. Sugar isn’t actually the culprit – actually acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth is the problem. When you eat sugar (or potatoes, or bread, or any carbohydrate) it serves as food for the bacteria in your mouth. After their feast they excrete acid.
  2. Acid makes cavities. Actually, acid weakens the hard enamel shell that protects your tooth. This damage is what allows the bacteria responsible for tooth decay to do their work. Avoid damaging your enamel by avoiding high acid food and drink like soda and brushing after eating carbohydrate rich foods.
  3. Kids are more susceptible to tooth decay. All ages get cavities. Childhood rates of tooth decay have declined because of fluoride treatments but, rates of decay for older American’s are rising. Reduced saliva flow (dry mouth) caused by many medications leave older adults more susceptible to decay.
  4. Aspirin will help a toothache caused by decay. Never, ever place an aspirin in your mouth unless you are planning to swallow it immediately. Aspirin might help the pain from a toothache when swallowed but, if placed near the gums it will cause painful damage. Aspirin is very acidic and will burn the delicate gum tissue possibly leading to an abscess.
  5. Once a filling is placed I don’t need to worry about future decay. Treating a decayed tooth means removing the decay and preparing the tooth properly for placement of the restoration (filling material). Dental fillings last for many, many years and how you care for your oral health can make a difference in the lifespan of your filling. Brush twice each day with a soft bristle brush and floss every day. Visit your dental hygienist regularly for professional cleanings. These small steps will ensure that the oral bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease are reduced and your teeth and gums will remain healthy.

Find out more about preventing and treating tooth decay by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 to schedule your next visit.

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