I Brush My Teeth Twice a Day, So Why Do I Still Get Cavities?
Your dental hygiene habits are impeccable. You brush and floss like clockwork. Unfortunately, you can still encounter trouble with tooth decay and develop cavities because several factors affect the health of your teeth.
4 Things That Cause Cavities (Besides Forgetting to Brush and Floss)
1. Staying Sweet All Day
When you eat or drink something sugary, the bacteria inside your mouth start producing acid. This breaks down the enamel protecting your teeth. After you’ve finished eating or drinking, your saliva will wash away the sugar and acid and begin remineralizing your enamel (with minerals in your saliva). This process takes about 30 minutes.
While enjoying a sweet treat occasionally is fine, people run into problems when they eat them too frequently or spend too much time enjoying a treat. If you suck on a lollipop or slowly sip a soda for hours, your teeth will be bathed in acid for much longer than 30 minutes and your enamel will suffer the consequences.
2. Poor Diet
In addition to managing sugary foods, eating a healthy diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals will promote healthy teeth from the inside. If your diet lacks balanced nutrition, your teeth will be structurally weak which will put you at greater risk of cavities.
Saliva is integral to healthy tooth enamel. If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day and become dehydrated, you’ll produce less saliva and your mouth will dry out. This interrupts the remineralization of enamel and leaves your chompers at the mercy of acids.
4. Brushing at the Wrong Time
Brushing every day is important, but it’s also important to time your brushing right. You should brush first thing in the morning to remove bacteria and plaque that have had a chance to accumulate uninterrupted throughout the night. Then brush before bed, too. If you like a clean mouth after lunch, wait 30 minutes (for the acid to clear) before brushing.
Keep the Cavities Away — Schedule an Annual Dental Exam Today!
Although many factors contribute to tooth decay and cavities, keeping up with regular professional dental exams and cleanings will go a long way when it comes to maintaining your dental health for life. For healthy adults and children, appointments every six months are ideal. Dr. Schaffer can take a look at your oral health concerns and goals and help you determine the best dental cleaning schedule for you.
To learn more or to schedule a dental appointment with our San Diego dentist, contact Schaffer Dental Excellence today.