A study released by the Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) reveals that many adults don’t understand cavity prevention. Although the focus of the study was on preventing childhood cavities, it also shows that adults are probably putting themselves at risk because of their lack of knowledge.
“Little or No Control” Over Cavities
Perhaps the most significant finding of the survey is that 43% of adults believed they had “little or no control” over whether they get a cavity, with only 57% being aware that they have “significant” or “total control” over their cavity risk. Perhaps it’s worth noting that all the following are ways that you can control your cavity risk:
- What foods you eat
- When you eat
- How often and how thoroughly you clean your teeth
- How often you get checkups at the dentist
Although there are some factors that you cannot control, such as your genetic level of risk, it’s clear that you have a significant level of control over your cavity risk.
Understanding What Causes Cavities
There were other questions that significant fractions of adults got wrong that have major implications for their oral health. For example, more than 40% of adults didn’t realize that the bacteria causing tooth decay is transmissible from parent to child. This may partly be because many don’t understand that bacteria are the central cause of tooth decay. They may also not realize that adults can spread bacteria between each other by kissing, sharing food, or sharing toothbrushes. They may also not realize that tooth decay and gum disease are chronic infections of the body that contribute to inflammation that can have a dramatic impact on your overall health, including your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, and even cancer. Over 40% of adults didn’t realize that the sugar in fruit juice can also contribute to childhood cavities. This isn’t surprising, because many people don’t realize that many different drinks contribute to tooth decay. This includes beverages like sugar-free drinks, energy and sports drinks, and caffeinated drinks. Another crucial misunderstanding revealed by the survey is that over 80% of those surveyed thought that obesity was more common than cavities for children, while the truth is that cavities affect two to three times as many children as obesity. This may reflect an ignorance of adult health threats, too. While only about a third of US adults are obese, nearly half of them have gum disease.
Take Control of Your Cavities
Are you tired of developing cavities regularly? Do you want to take action with the help of a Los Gatos dentist to protect your teeth and gums from attack by oral bacteria? Then please call (408) 354-5600 for an appointment at Top Down Dental.