Ever since we were children, we have heard about cavities, what causes them and what to do about them. Today we are going to debunk a few myths that we hear from our patients regarding cavities and fillings.
Debunking Filling Myths
The number one myth that we hear about cavities and the need for fillings is that only consuming sugar will give you cavities. This is simply untrue. While sugar is Public Enemy #1 for teeth and their enamel, it is not the only reason that someone may develop a cavity. Many medications can weaken the enamel on your teeth making them more susceptible to tooth decay. Starchy foods like bread, fruit, potatoes, pasta and beans can also increase your risk for developing a cavity. If you do eat high starch foods, it is important that you brush and floss after your meal to help rid your mouth of the sugars and starches.
Another common misconception is that fillings last forever. While certain types of fillings last longer than others, eventually, they will all need to be replaced. Traditional fillings, or 'silver fillings' have been in use for over 150 years and they last the longest, coming in at anywhere between 11 to 15 years. Composite fillings have gained in popularity over the last few years due to the fact that they are tooth colored and they last anywhere from 7 to 10 years before they need to be replaced.
The most common myth we hear about silver fillings is that they can be dangerous due to the mercury that is in them. Silver fillings are made up of silver, tin and yes, some mercury, but it's not the type of mercury that we think of as a health hazard. The US Food and Drug Administration states that silver fillings are completely safe.
If you have any questions about your fillings, or you think that you may be needing a filling, give our office a call today!