Ah the internet. It can be a fantastic resource to access an infinite amount of knowledge and data, or it can be used to spread baseless rumors that confuse otherwise intelligent people. Unfortunately, the internet has made it much easier for people to share healthcare myths that can mislead people into making unhealthy decisions. Below are a few dental myths, and the facts behind them.
Myth 1 – Sugar Causes Tooth Decay
This one is somewhat true, but sugar doesn’t actually cause tooth decay, rather, it plays an important role in the process. Cavities are actually caused by acid bad oral bacteria. Acid breaks down tooth enamel, which leaves teeth more susceptible to cavities. While sugar provides bad bacteria with the energy it needs to cause tooth decay.
Myth 2 – Placing Aspirin on a Toothache will Alleviate the Pain
This is an interesting one that is actually an old wives tale. However, we should dispel this outright: pain relievers do not work like that. Instead, it works by entering the blood stream through the intestines and blocking the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause pain. Aspirin and other pain relievers can only work once they’ve entered the blood stream, which is why placing an Aspirin next to a sore tooth won’t work.
Myth 3 – Baby Teeth aren’t as Important as Adult Teeth
This is a strange one, but some people view baby teeth as less important than adult teeth because they are impermanent. While they won’t be in your mouth through adulthood, baby teeth play an integral role in the development of a young smile. Baby teeth serve as place holders for incoming adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost too early, incoming permanent teeth could drift into the vacant space and make it difficult for new adult teeth to find space. This can lead to crowded teeth, a crooked smile, and a misaligned bite, all of which can be quite costly to fix, which is why it is very important that you take care of your children’s baby teeth.
Myth 4 – You can’t get a Cavity under a Crown
Here’s one that has been circulating lately, but let’s put it to rest: you absolutely can get a cavity beneath a crown. Dental crowns (or caps) are placed on teeth that have suffered damage above the gumline. Because of this, most of the tooth that is visible is covered. This leads people to believe that, because the tooth is mostly covered, that it is immune to cavities. This is patently false. Tooth decay can – and will – accumulate at the base of the crown if it is not properly cleaned – brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time and flossing once per day.
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Please visit our office if you have any questions about oral healthcare. We have years of dental training which has equipped us with the knowledge needed to answer any question you may have.