What Causes Cavities? 4 Common Misconceptions
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We know you do your best to prevent cavities. But do you really understand how you get them? Cavities are permanent holes that form in the teeth when bacteria eat away at the layers of your teeth. For optimal dental health, it helps to know exactly what causes cavities and how to prevent tooth decay. In today’s post, our team at Prescott Dentistry wants to help you clear up some of these common misconceptions.
1. Sugar is what causes cavities.
Sugar can definitely lead to tooth decay. Sugar is broken down into acid by bacteria in your mouth. This acid weakens the enamel, making your teeth prone to cavities—but sugar isn’t the only food that causes tooth decay. Carbohydrates 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. Acidic drinks soften tooth enamel, which makes teeth sensitive and more susceptible to decay. Beverages that are high in both acid and sugar have the potential to be exceptionally damaging. Check out this post for common beverages that can wear down the tooth enamel.
2. It doesn’t matter if young children get cavities.
In order to have healthy adult teeth, you need healthy baby teeth. Decay in baby teeth can cause them to fall out before the permanent teeth come in, which can lead to alignment issues, and expensive orthodontic treatment later in life. Cavities in baby teeth can cause pain and serious infections. That’s why it’s so important to start good oral hygiene practices with your child as early as possible—even before their first tooth comes in!
3. Brushing is sufficient.
While brushing is vital in protecting your teeth from developing cavities, it’s not enough in and of itself. As we stated earlier, avoiding food and drinks high in sugar and acid is also very important. Flossing is an essential component of preventing tooth decay because it gets food particles out from between the teeth, which is virtually impossible to reach with just a brush. Check to make sure you are using the proper technique!
4. Cavities are always painful.
If you have advanced decay, you may experience pain or experience sensitivity with extreme temperatures, but, when a cavity is in its early stages, you might not notice anything at all. Cavities are much easier to treat at this stage—that’s why it’s important to get regular checkups and cleanings, even when you don’t feel any pain or sensitivity.
Now that you understand more about what causes cavities, and why it’s important to get regular dental checkups, be sure to visit us at Prescott Dentistry. 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 holistic dentists.