I BRUSH ATLEAST TWICE A DAY, SO WHY DO I STILL GET CAVITIES?
Many people have learned to eat healthy, work out often, self-reflect and do much more. However, I still get many patients come to me complaining….
“why do they see cavities even after regularly brushing their teeth”
While the answer to this question is different for everyone, there are still some general principles about cavity formation that I share with my patients that can help address this concern:
- When is the best time of day to brush your teeth?
- How can you help your teeth re-mineralize?
- How do cavities form?
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH?
I believe you know by now the importance of brushing your teeth twice daily. It’s important to brush twice a day as this helps reduce the number of accumulated bacteria in your mouth.
Its best practice to brush your teeth first thing when you wake up in the morning before your first meal of the day. This helps introduce fluoride into your mouth before eating as this helps lessen the number of particles that turn to acid from your breakfast.
Equally, brushing before heading to bed at night could help lessen or reduce any prolonged acid exposure while you sleep.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR TEETH RE-MINERALIZE?
This is where our saliva comes into play. Our saliva acts as a natural buffer from harmful particles and helps flush them out to protect our teeth. Every time we eat, our saliva helps add calcium and phosphate back to the teeth.
Most times this is not enough for the teeth. This is where fluoride comes in again. The fluoride we get from water, toothpaste and saliva help protect the teeth.
HOW DO CAVITIES FORM?
HOW DO CAVITIES FORM?
All our teeth are made up of minerals. Any time you eat or drink sugary or starchy foods, bacteria in the plaque on your teeth begin to produce acid, then this acid eats away at the enamel (or the protective layer on your teeth). When your mouth drops below a critical pH and becomes more acidic, teeth begin to lose those natural minerals on our teeth.
It takes about 30-60 minutes after eating or drinking for the pH in your mouth to return to normal. However, if you don’t give your mouth enough time to recover after eating or drinking and consume something else high in sugars or starch, the process begins all over again and acid continues to form from the plaque on your teeth.
For example, drinking a can of soda in 10 minutes is much better than sipping it over the course of an hour because your mouth will only be exposed to this acidic beverage for 10 minutes rather than repeatedly for 60 minutes. The sooner your teeth can start the re-mineralizing process, the better.
If you have questions about your oral health routine—especially during this stressful and unprecedented time—request an appointment http://beaconhillsmile.com/make-appointment/ and our teams can help!