Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

How Can You Still Get Cavities When You Take Good Care of Your Teeth?

by Brett Clark

The guidelines of oral hygiene in dentistry are fairly unambiguous. Brush your teeth twice each day, and visit your dentist twice a year. Of course, these guidelines are broad and don't take a patient's specific circumstances into consideration. This could be a part of the problem if you still regularly develop cavities, despite doing all you can to follow the best practises when it comes to looking after your teeth.

A Visual Inspection

When cleaning your teeth, it's a good time to examine your teeth in the mirror, looking for abnormalities. For example, white spots on your dental enamel can suggest demineralisation, or a weakening of your enamel—which can be a precursor to a cavity, and should be assessed by your dentist. While a dentist can fill a cavity (or even halt demineralisation), if you're someone who has dealt with a number of cavities (despite your best efforts), it's helpful to understand why they're affecting you.

Dietary Factors

What you eat and drink will obviously affect your teeth. You might be cautious about the amount of sugar you consume, and this is sensible. It could be that your dental enamel is being eroded by the regular consumption of foods and drinks that you didn't in fact know were high in sugar. It's not just sugar that may be the problem either. Food rich in carbohydrates and processed starches can offer fuel to the cariogenic (cavity-causing) bacteria in your mouth, with the acidic compounds produced by this bacteria as they interact with the carbohydrate contributing to cavity formation.

Best Practises 

You should also consider that what you think of as the best practises when cleaning your teeth may not be the best. You may be brushing too hard (with a toothbrush whose bristles are similarly too hard for your teeth), meaning you're inadvertently buffing away your dental enamel. Your scheduling may be working against you too. Brushing immediately after eating or drinking prevents the protective minerals in your saliva from doing their part in neutralising the acidic components of your food and drink. 

Ask for Assistance

Of course, any cavities should be filled, and you should ask your dentist for their recommendations in terms of your own oral hygiene. They can even show you the best brushing technique (and tools) for your teeth, which might seem strange as an adult, but can be extremely helpful. You may also benefit from regular fluoride treatments in order to protect your dental enamel.

So if you're someone who regularly develops dental cavities, even though you try your best to prevent them, it might be time to see your dentist to get to the root of the problem.

For more information on dentistry, contact a professional near you.