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October 17th, 2017

Wellness

7 things you believe about your teeth that aren't true

Dr. Benjamin Greene

By Dr. Benjamin Greene FamilyShare

Published July 22, 2016

7 things you believe about your teeth that aren't true
Dental health is an important aspect of health and wellness. Over the years, stories have circulated that have misled people about their dental health. Here are seven common myths about your teeth:

1. Teeth will loosen by having plaque professionally scraped

In fact, the opposite is true. When you visit the dentist for a routine cleaning, scraping off the plaque is a good way to keep teeth strong and healthy. A buildup of plaque causes gum disease and irritation, and weakened gums can loosen your teeth. Don't miss your regular dental appointment because cleanings are important for long-term dental health.

2. Fillings always need to be replaced

Fillings have a life expectancy, but you can have the same fillings for a long time if you take care of your teeth. Proper dental hygiene and regular dental visits are the best ways to reduce the need to replace fillings. Also, modern technology has improved materials and methods used for fillings, which increases how long they last.

3. Sugar and acidic foods cause cavities

The idea that eating sugar will cause cavities is partially true because cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth. When you eat sugar or any other type of carbohydrate, it starts a process that causes the bacteria to release acid, and the acid leads to tooth decay. Another myth is that you should avoid acidic foods because they cause tooth decay. The truth is that acidic foods can enhance the process of tooth decay by breaking down the enamel that weakens the tooth. But the decay is caused by the bacteria in your mouth.

4. White teeth are healthier than yellow teeth

The color of your teeth isn't a true indication of the health of your teeth. It is possible to use whitening products to brighten your smile, but cavities or an infection might be present. Natural tooth color varies from one person to the next, and tooth color doesn't give a true indication about the health of teeth. Discoloration is a natural process of aging, and staining also occurs from certain dietary choices and habits.

5. A filling will stop decay

When the dentist removes tooth decay and places a filling in your mouth, it prevents tooth decay from spreading, but a filling doesn't guarantee you won't experience additional decay on the tooth. Even though the dentist has removed the decay spot, it is possible for decay to occur, again, if the tooth isn't properly cared for. Follow regular dental hygiene practices to prevent tooth decay on all of your teeth, regardless of whether they have fillings.

6. Placing aspirin next to a tooth will cure a toothache

In order to ease pain, you need to swallow an aspirin for temporary relief, but it's not a long term cure. In fact, aspirin can irritate gums and cause an abscess to form if it stays next to the tooth.



7. You will always be in pain if you have a cavity

If you have a toothache, it is likely you are suffering from tooth decay, but the cavity was present long before you felt pain. Instead of waiting for a sign that your tooth needs attention, visit the dentist on a regular basis for checkups. When cavities are detected early, they can be treated before you experience any pain.

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