Myths often start with a grain of truth, and that’s the case for many of the dental misconceptions most people have absorbed over the years. No matter how educated a person perceives they are concerning dental health, it’s possible a few false impressions have taken root.
- Cavities are a fact of life.
It’s common knowledge that there are very real, clinically-evidenced explanations for dental health issues, so why is it that many times you cross your fingers and hope luck is on your side when it’s time to take the kids to the dentist? Recent advancements in research have focused a lot of attention on early intervention methods. So with proper education, fluoride, increased access to dental care, and ongoing research, children in this day and age may not need to worry about cavity development. No four-leaf clovers necessary.
- Sweets are always the culprit
Ok, ok, you’re aware that eating sweets isn’t doing anything good for our teeth, but focusing too specifically on that one source of sugar just isn’t wise. Here’s why: fighting cavities is essentially about keeping the proper pH balance in your mouth. Maintaining this balance requires adequate saliva flow, a balanced, varied diet, and a sensible daily oral hygiene regimen. Prolonged and frequent exposure to sugar can lower pH levels often enough to seriously impact your dental health, but it’s not just sweets that’s to blame. Fruit and fruit juices, soft drinks, and cooked starches also create that acidic environment which leads to tooth decay.
- A cavity starts on the inside of your tooth
This one is several hundred years old, and probably doesn’t affect your concept of tooth decay today. But it’s interesting to think that in the 18th century people believed that “tooth worms” formed within a tooth and ate their way out to the surface. Now we know that dental decay starts from the outside and works its way in, not the other way around!