As a family dentist in Littleton, we are asked many questions about oral health. Often, these questions arise from common myths that circulate from time to time. The problem with myths is that many of them are born out of convenience or from popular ideas that are not particularly healthy.
Do not hesitate to ask us any questions
It is important for patients to visit us and bring up any questions they have to ensure they have the facts straight. For example, many parents will send their children to bed with a bottle or cup of milk. Since milk is full of calcium, they assume that milk is safe for the teeth.
However, milk is also full of sugar, so if a child takes it to bed, the sugar will remain on the teeth and increase the risk of getting cavities. This popular myth is widespread and partially to blame for why baby bottle tooth decay is so prevalent. With that in mind, we have listed a few common myths we hear and our answers to them.
Myth: Fillings have to be replaced, no matter what.
As a family dentist, we do not put a set expiration date on fillings. How long the fillings last depends on several factors, including one’s general oral hygiene. If one brushes and flosses his or her teeth, eats a healthy diet, and avoids activities that can damage the teeth, then the fillings can last for a long time. Some people never have to replace their fillings.
However, simply filling a cavity, does not mean the decay will stop. There are times where the decay continues to spread and we need to replace a filling because it is no longer big enough. When a patient visits our office for regular dental exams, we will inspect the fillings and let the patient know how the fillings are holding up.
Myth: Cavities are painful.
If cavities grow untreated, they will eventually cause discomfort and even pain. However, in their early stages, cavities can go undetected. As a family dentist office, we encourage patients to visit us twice a year so we can both prevent and catch cavities. If we treat them immediately, the patient will never experience cavity-related discomfort.
Myth: Only cavities and infections create the need for a root canal.
In our dental office, we perform root canals for a variety of reasons. While they are typically necessary due to a cavity, root canals can also treat damage from an accident or due to grinding and clenching teeth. Regardless of why a patient needs a root canal, we can complete the procedure while keeping the patient entirely comfortable.
Myth: Children are the only ones really at risk of getting cavities.
This is simply not the case. Anyone can get a cavity, regardless of age. In fact, we have seen more seniors getting cavities due to dry mouth caused by medications. Regardless of how old you are, it is important to have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year.
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