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What is the worst advice we have ever heard about cavities, you ask? Well, after being in the dental industry for many years, we have been asked a lot of questions and heard a lot of odd advice about how to care for cavities.  From “old wives tales” to home remedies, this blog post will go through some odd advice and tell you the actual truth about cavities.

  1. Don’t worry, your cavity will go away on its own.

This one is not entirely true. When decay occurs, there are times where it won’t progress into a cavity. This can cause some discoloration on the tooth, but it isn’t actually a cavity. In this case, if you catch the cavity at the beginning stage, you can reverse the start of a cavity. But, once you have an actual cavity, you can’t get rid of it. The only way to fix a cavity is to get it filled by going to the dentist.

  1. You can brush a cavity away.

False! You can brush and brush, but the cavity isn’t going anywhere! Like the above advice, once a cavity has taken shape, you can’t get rid of it. However, brushing is encouraged. Brushing your teeth and keeping the area clean and clear of food, can help prevent more build up and the progression of the cavity.

  1. If I start taking care of my oral health, my cavity will stay the same size.

Nope! Once the cavity has started, the decay will continue to progress and will reach the inner pulp of nerves and blood vessels. So, the cavity will only continue to grow if left untreated. Once it reaches the nerves, instead of treating a cavity on the surface, you may end up needing a root canal or a dental crown.

  1. I don’t have any pain, so I don’t have to see a dentist yet.

Not good advice! Just because you don’t have any pain, doesn’t mean you don’t need to see a dentist! Not having any pain just means it hasn’t progressed to reach your nerves. You still need to come in. For anything! If you have any oral concern, it is always best to go see a dentist. Don’t let it progress to pain.

  1. If I place an aspirin next to my cavity will help take the pain away.

Don’t do this! This is not only false but it can cause further damage. Aspirin works by blocking the production of certain chemicals in your blood. When taken orally (swallowed), the pill is then broken down and absorbed into your bloodstream and travels to the areas where you are filling pain and blocks the pain. When you place an aspirin next to your tooth, it can cause a chemical burn on the gums and surround tissue. Aspirin’s real name is Acetylsalicylic Acid. So, you are literally putting acid on sensitive areas of the mouth. Take pain medicine as directed on the bottle and come in for an emergency appointment if the pain is too much.

  1. Don’t worry about baby teeth. They are just going to fall out.

No, no, no! Not caring for your child’s teeth can impair a child’s ability to eat, speak, sleep, and learn. Teeth need to be healthy and strong. If a child loses a tooth prematurely (due to a cavity), this can cause issues when their permanent teeth develop or grow in. If the space between your teeth is not filled, it can cause other teeth to drift into that empty space – leaving little room for the adult tooth to grow in. It can also cause bone loss. It is always important to have good oral care for your child.

Don’t listen to just anybody’s advice on oral health. Always consult a professional. When it comes to cavities and tooth decay, it is best to see the dentist and get it taken care of. Remember, the only way to completely remove a cavity is by having your dentist fill it. Come see us at Acre Wood Dental in Waco, Texas to talk to a professional today!