March 17, 2020
Your teeth are meant to last for a lifetime with the right care at home and from your dentist in Bothell. The biggest threat to their longevity is tooth decay. Although cavities are preventable, research shows at least 92% of adults have had a cavity in a permanent tooth. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding tooth decay that can put your smile at risk. Here are 4 facts you need to know about cavities.
Myth: Only soda and sweets cause cavities.
Fact: Consuming soda, cookies, and candy frequently can significantly increase your risk of tooth decay, but those aren’t the only things that can cause a cavity. Sugar from any food or drink can linger in your mouth, including those that occur naturally, like in fresh fruit.
When sugar combines with your oral bacteria, it creates an acidic plaque that erodes your enamel. If you can’t ignore your sweet tooth, brush your teeth well when you’re finished eating or drinking. Even if you cut sugar from your diet, you’ll still need to maintain your brushing and flossing routine to keep your teeth healthy.
Myth: Your filling will last forever.
Fact: If you’ve had a cavity, a filling was likely used to treat it. After the treatment, many people won’t think about the restoration in their mouth ever again, unless it causes an issue. While you might believe your filling will last forever, this isn’t true. Over time, it will break down and need to be replaced.
On average, you can expect a filling to last for about 10 years with the right care. There are several things you can do to promote its longevity, like maintaining your oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly.
Myth: I only need to brush my teeth to prevent cavities.
Fact: Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against cavity-causing bacteria; however, brushing isn’t enough. You also need to floss your teeth daily to remove hard to reach plaque and bacteria left behind by your toothbrush.
If you aren’t flossing daily, you’re leaving as much as 40% of your tooth’s surfaces uncleaned. Not to mention, you’re also significantly increasing your risk of gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss.
Myth: Gum is bad for my teeth.
Fact: Gum containing sugar is bad for your teeth because it can lead to cavities. On the other hand, sugarless gum can actually help your oral health because it increases your production of saliva. This keeps your mouth moist to reduce bacteria growth. It also helps cleanse your teeth in between brushing and flossing.
Enjoy a Cavity-Free Smile
You can ensure your smile lasts for a lifetime with the right facts. Don’t let myths put your dental health at risk. If you have any questions about your teeth and gums, contact your dentist for advice. A proactive approach to a healthy smile can save you time and money in the dental chair.
About Dr. Henry Hsue
Dr. Henry Hsue earned his dental degree in 2004, graduating with High Honors. He has completed post-graduate learning to remain well-versed in the latest treatments. He’s also earned various academic awards. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for the high-quality care you deserve.
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