Since you were a kid you have been constantly told about how brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing will keep your mouth free from cavities. Using a fluoride toothpaste and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings was all you needed to do for a healthy mouth. So, why are you still getting cavities?
Brushing Too Hard or with a Too-Hard Brush
You don’t have to attack your teeth with an extra hard brush to keep them clean. In fact, you may just be making things worse for yourself.
If you brush vigorously, you may be wearing down your enamel, which makes your teeth inviting places for bacteria to grow. Use a soft brush, slow down the brushing, and brush for 2 minutes in a circular type motion for an effective clean.
You should of course also follow up with flossing and a dental rinse!
Just as brushing too hard can disrupt enamel, some people already have soft or weak enamel. The outer layer of each tooth is the hardest part of the tooth, but some folks are just predisposed to have less than strong enamel. This can happen from wearing braces, your genetics, certain daily habits, and most importantly, your diet.
If you drink lots of sugary or acidic drinks like energy type drinks and eat sugary foods, it can all lead to the erosion of your enamel. When this occurs, the next layer called the dentin can easily be attacked by bacteria and acid causing cavities.
Brushing Too Soon After Eating
This is another one of those stories you were told as a child that is not entirely beneficial. You don’t need to jump up from the table and brush. The acid and bacteria from food and drink softens the enamel, but if we wait about one hour after eating, our enamel is able to harden again.
Being a Nibbler
You know the type, always with a bag of chips by their side or candies in their pocket. Maybe this even describes you!
Many of these small snacks are loaded with sugar and acid, and can leave us with less saliva. Worse yet, the sugar and acid just sit on our teeth and begin to wear them down.
The better way to snack is to do it all at once instead of grazing non-stop throughout the day.
Those who grind their teeth, clench them, or bite their nails are prime candidates for cavities. Add frequently chewing on ice to this list and you are damaging your teeth and your enamel.
Dry Mouth and Mouth Breathers
We need a mouth with a healthy amount of saliva to wash away bacteria. Certain medications like antidepressants and pain relievers can make you more prone to getting cavities because they dry out the mouth. Tobacco and alcohol also give you dry mouth, and if you are a mouth breather, this just exacerbates dry mouth.
Imbalance in pH
Acidic pH levels in the mouth can make you more susceptible and prone to getting cavities. Talk to East Village Dental Arts about performing a saliva test to check your mouth, and to suggest ways to bring it back to a balanced pH.
Sometimes it is just your genes that make you more prone to getting cavities. Unfortunately, you can’t do much about that, but you can tackle some of these other unhealthy examples.
Ask East Village Dental Arts what might be causing you to be more prone to getting cavities, and then follow their recommendations or treatment plan for optimal results.