As a family dentist in Leawood, we treat patients who are suffering from a variety of health concerns. With a focus on preventative care, our goal is to quickly identify and treat the problem. Afterward, we work to educate our patients so the issue does not repeat itself. During these conversations, we have discovered that many people operate under false assumptions that have been perpetuated by myths. Dental myths are common, but they can also be dangerous. For example, the myth that flossing is optional can increase your risk of getting gum disease. For this reason, we have made a list of a few common myths we hear and our answers to them.
Myth – Only sugar causes cavities.
As a family dentist in Leawood, we wish this were the case because it would be easier for our patients to avoid sugar and avoid getting cavities. In truth, cavities are formed when the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar or starch, creating plaque. The plaque secretes acid that attacks the tooth and creates decay. It is important, therefore, to avoid foods that are highly acidic or high in sugar or starch. Things like soda, lemons, and pasta can all harm the teeth just as much as a candy bar. We recommend that you rinse your mouth after eating or drinking and to brush your teeth three times a day to prevent plaque from building up in the first place.
Myth – Children are at risk for cavities, but adults are not.
Again, it would be nice if this were true. The reality is that everyone is at risk for getting cavities, including babies and seniors. In fact, there has been an increase in the number of seniors getting cavities from dry mouth caused by medications. Regardless of how old you are, visiting a family dentist in Leawood twice a year is a good idea.
Myth – Root canals are only necessary if you have an infected tooth.
We perform root canals to remove the infected portion of the tooth and to treat teeth that have severe cavities. We also perform them to treat roots that have been damaged. This can happen due to an accident, grinding your teeth at night, or some other dental trauma. You can even damage your roots if you have too much dental work completed in quick succession. This makes it important to time dental work appropriately and gives your teeth time to rest if you are having a full smile makeover.
Myth – Diet soda is okay for your teeth.
All soda contains acid, and acid can cause the enamel on your teeth to erode. You have a limited amount of enamel on your teeth, and this is what prevents them from becoming sensitive. It is unwise to drink a lot of soda simply because it does not contain sugar while ignoring the acid content. We recommend drinking water, and if you must drink soda, rinse your mouth afterward. Also, be sure to brush with a fluoride toothpaste.