Nothing is more frustrating for someone with immaculate dental hygiene to hear than that they’ve gotten a cavity since their last visit. While it isn’t the end of the world, it is frustrating to imagine that, no matter how well you take care of your teeth, tooth decay can still occur.
In truth, cavities are a reality of life that is hard to avoid. According to the ADA, nearly 91% of Americans over the age of 20 have at least one cavity. Perhaps more concerning, 27% of adults have untreated tooth decay. This means that even the best adherents to dental hygiene will likely still get cavities at some point in their lives.
Thankfully, there are a couple of things you can do to avoid getting cavities beyond brushing and flossing. If you’re asking “why do I get cavities even though I brush my teeth?” read on for tips on what you can do to make your next visit to the dentist cavity-free!
4 Reasons Other Than Dental Hygiene You Can Get Cavities
We all know that eating sugar is one of the primary reasons why people get cavities, but what you might not know is that the frequency that you eat throughout the day can also play a pivotal role in cavity formation. If you are the type who snacks on sweets throughout the day rather than eating a few meals at fixed intervals, your chances of getting cavities are higher.
If you’re looking to stop cavity formation without changing your eating habits, consider eating less sugary foods throughout the day.
When teeth are tightly packed in your mouth, it becomes much more difficult to brush and floss. Bacteria thrives in conditions like these. There are two ways to resolve this issue: flossing with greater regularity, or getting tooth alignment like braces or Invisalign. This will ensure that cavity-causing bacteria are stopped before they cause problems in your mouth.
When gingivitis isn’t taken care of, it can develop into periodontitis, an incurable gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. While periodontitis can be controlled with good dental hygiene, failing to treat it can lead gums to recede, exposing the roots of a tooth that aren’t protected by enamel. Without the protective layer, teeth can develop cavities far more easily.
While periodontitis may be incurable, it can be effectively treated with special toothpaste. If you have periodontitis, talk to your dentist about options available for you.
Some People Are More Prone to Cavities Than Others
While you may brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly, some people are more genetically predisposed to the kind of bacteria that causes cavities in the mouth. If your family is predisposed to cavities, make sure you take extra care to brush and floss!
What You Can Do to Reduce Cavity Risk
While developing good dental hygiene is the best way to ensure that you will avoid cavities, most people will get cavities at some point in their life. Thankfully, there are other options available to you to prevent cavities.
Get an Electric Toothbrush – Electric toothbrushes have been shown to be vastly more effective than a standard toothbrush, ensuring a thorough cleaning every time you brush your teeth. By eliminating the risk of getting cavities, an electric toothbrush may very well pay for itself!
Floss – Brushing your teeth is important for dental health, but don’t neglect flossing! Particulate matter that gets stuck between teeth can wear on enamel and lead to a greater frequency of cavities.
Change Your Diet – While reducing sugar in your diet by abstaining from soda, juice, candy, and dried fruit can help eliminate the number of cavities in your mouth, it is equally as important to track how frequently you are snacking throughout the day. Avoid grazing, or consider eating sugar-free alternatives throughout the day.
Tooth Alignment – When teeth sit against each other in the mouth, nooks and crannies form where bacteria thrive. Consider getting tooth alignment through services like Invisalign retainers.
See your dentist regularly – Checkups are important to ensure that potential cavities are caught when they are smaller and easier to fix. Dentists can also give helpful suggestions and address risk factors specific to you.
Need a dental checkup? Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry can help! Contact us today for more information about our services.