Dr. Stephen A. Price


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Setting the Record Straight on Dental Myths

By: | Thursday, May 30th, 2019 | General Dentistry

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Dental health is something that a person will manage for their entire lifetime. The more informed one is, then, the better they will fair as they face various situations that may degrade their teeth and gums. Here, we discuss a few wrong ideas that need to be set straight.

Adults are much less likely to get cavities than children.

In the last twenty or so years, tooth decay in school-aged children has been significantly reduced thanks to fluoridated water, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants. Conversely, statistics indicate that tooth decay among older adults has increased. One of the common contributing factors to tooth decay in seniors is dry mouth. This condition may stem from diabetes, medication, or chronic dehydration. Routine dental care can identify a person’s risk for tooth decay and establish protocols to reduce this risk.

For a toothache, place an aspirin next to the painful tooth.

This idea is one that needs to be tossed as quickly as possible. Aspirin can be taken orally to reduce the discomfort of a toothache but should never be placed directly against gum tissue. The highly acidic nature of aspirin could injure soft tissue and create an even bigger problem than the original toothache. Clove essential oil may be applied to the gums to minimize tooth pain. However, a toothache should also be quickly examined by a dentist. The sooner that care is obtained, the less extensive it will be.

All fillings need to be replaced at some point.

This used to be the case and still is the case with amalgam (silver) fillings. The reason these fillings eventually fail is because the metal in amalgam expands and retracts with temperature changes in the mouth. Over time, this movement can cause separation at the margins of the filling. Metal fillings can also crack or fracture when they become old. Newer materials such as composite resin are much more compatible with natural tooth enamel. These restorations have been known to last decades.

Knowing how to manage dental situations can be difficult sometimes. That’s why we’re here. Our team offers friendly care that focuses on preventing and restoring teeth to optimal health. To schedule an exam and cleaning with us, call (703)-935-2879.



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