Whether you're a child or an adult, hearing that you have a cavity is never good news. But by taking steps to be more informed about proper dental hygiene and the common causes of cavities, you can reduce your and your child's risk for these problems.
Here are three cavity myths and facts, as compiled from a WebMD feature by Tracy Brown:
Myth: Sugar is the culprit of cavities
This is a "myth, but it's almost a fact," Brown says. In reality, the acid that is produced in your mouth causes cavities, explains Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, an American Dental Association spokeswoman. Moreover, any carb you consume can begin the process, whether it's sugar, rice, potatoes, bread, fruits or vegetables.
Fact: Acidic foods is one of the causes of tooth decay
Acidic foods do, in fact, break down your teeth's outer shell, or enamel, in turn weakening the tooth and making your teeth more vulnerable to decay.
"The bacteria responsible for tooth decay produces acids," says Misty Horn-Blake, DDS, a dentist in Johnson City. "Eating acidic foods often throughout the day (including juice and soda) can enhance that process." So cut back on acidic foods and make sure to brush your teeth after eating them.
Myth: Kids get more cavities than adults
This is another myth. Since adding fluoride into tap water, "we've actually cut decay in school-aged children by half in the last 20 years," Harms says.
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