Dental caries, or cavities, are a common frustration if you are great at brushing and flossing every day. But there are some myths about cavities that may be throwing a wrench in your hygiene routine. Here are three myths about dental caries that you shouldn't believe.
1. You Inherited "Soft Teeth," and They Cause Cavities
If you keep getting cavities, you may want to throw in the towel and blame it on genetics. However, most people don't inherit "soft teeth." A very small percent of the population has amelogenesis imperfecta, a recessive gene mutation that causes weaker teeth.
Your soft teeth may be caused by a number of factors that you haven't considered. Are you sharing kisses? Are you sharing utensils or food with other family members or friends? People have different oral bacteria, and someone with lots of bad bacteria can spread it around!
Do you have heartburn? Even mild heartburn can cause acid to coat your teeth — this acid could be even more damaging than soda or food debris.
Do you grind your teeth at night? It's important to wear a mouthguard if you do. Many people with bruxism can actually cause microfractures which make it easier for bacteria to penetrate the enamel and cause cavities.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why you may be getting cavities besides blaming it on inheritance.
2. Brushing Harder Will Reduce Cavities
You only need a light amount of pressure when brushing your teeth. If you brush too hard, you can actually scratch your enamel and cause gum recession. Recessed gums and worn enamel make it that much easier for plaque to build up on your teeth.
3. Only Sugary Foods Cause Cavities
Sugar is often the ingredient that's blamed when it comes to cavities. But cavities can also be caused by any carbohydrates — especially starches like pasta, cereals, chips, and bread.
These carbs actually break down into simple sugars which then cause the acidic byproducts that break down teeth. When you are done eating, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water. The water can help to neutralize these acids and prevent cavities. You should wait about half an hour before brushing. If you brush immediately after eating, you can actually push acids into the enamel.
If you are still getting cavities even with good habits, it's a good idea to consult with your dentist. He or she may have some ideas you haven't considered yet. For more information, contact a dental office like Pinon Hills Dental.