Think you know everything about cavities? Test your knowledge by reading the following 6 myths about cavities!

1. The only things that cause cavities are sugary foods, sugary drinks and sweets.

Yes it’s true that eating sugary foods and drinks without brushing your teeth can cause cavities. But do you know that other types of foods can also cause cavities? Sticky foods allow bacteria and sugar to stay on your teeth, especially if you don’t brush right away. The bacteria can absolutely cause cavities and tooth decay.

Furthermore, highly acidic foods and beverages (like orange juice) are not good for your teeth. The acid can break down the healthy, protective enamel that supports healthy teeth. If you’re going to consume acidic foods, be sure to brush and floss soon afterwards.

It isn’t a bad idea, also, to drink plenty of water in between meals. Not only will you hydrate yourself throughout the day, but you’ll help keep the bad stuff from lingering on your teeth in between meals.

2. If your teeth aren’t hurting, then you don’t have a cavity.

Not necessarily! The early signs of a cavity usually don’t produce any signs or symptoms. Catching a cavity in its early stages by a dentist can prevent it from getting bigger and causing more issues. Because once a cavity gets bigger and the hole in your tooth gets bigger, you’ll likely experience pain, discomfort, and hot/cold sensitivity.

Be sure to schedule your 6-month checkup appointments to catch problems early on before cavities and other extensive dental work are needed.

3. Brushing your teeth routinely is all you need to do to prevent cavities.

Yes, brushing your teeth 2-3 times every day is very important for healthy teeth and gums. But is that enough? Well, it’s a great start, but brushing isn’t enough.

You also should floss your teeth 1-2 times per day. Flossing will remove particles and plaque that get trapped between your teeth. Toothbrushes cannot reach into those tiny crevices in between teeth. Get in the habit of flossing!

Lastly, if you consume sticky, sugary and/or acidic foods or beverages, be sure to brush and floss as soon as possible.

4. Fillings are a permanent solution for cavities, which means you don’t have to take care of fillings after they’re placed.

False! Fillings require care—regular brushing and routine flossing—after they’re placed. You see, bacteria and plaque can accumulate near and around the filling. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, issues can arise and you’ll be back at the dentist’s office to fix another dental problem.

You also need to keep an eye out if a filling breaks or cracks. This can happen over time or when eating hard candy or food. If you notice a cracked filling or a broken filling, call your dentist to get it fixed.

So if you think you don’t have to take care of the fillings once placed, think again!

5. Chewing gum is really bad for your teeth.

Wrong…well, partially! Chewing sugar-free gum can be beneficial for teeth…just make sure it’s sugar free. On the other hand, gum that’s packed with loads of sugar can be bad for teeth since the sugar will sit on your teeth until you brush.

Be sure to choose sugar-free gum to chew in between or after meals. The gum will actually help create more saliva in your mouth, which will help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums (decreasing your chances of developing cavities).

6. If your child has a cavity in a baby tooth, it doesn’t matter.

Very wrong! Cavities and tooth decay can be very serious issues, even though baby teeth fall out. Decayed baby teeth sometimes fall out too early before the permanent teeth are ready. This can lead to issues with the teeth lining up properly and lining up in the right spot.

In addition to alignment issues, cavities and tooth decay in children can cause significant pain and discomfort. Sometimes the decayed baby tooth can lead to serious infection, which can be extremely painful.

So be sure to teach your young son or daughter early on the importance of consistent brushing and flossing. Developing good oral hygiene habits at an early age is important for healthy teeth and gums!

If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment for you and your family, call Shining Smiles in Marietta, GA. During your checkup appointment, we can make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. Schedule your appointment today.