I Brush My Teeth Twice A Day, So Why Do I Still Get Cavities?

It is always disappointing to hear your dentist say that you have a cavity. It is especially disheartening if you have followed the American Dental Association’s recommendation to brush your teeth twice daily. However, learning more about tooth decay and the best steps to prevention can help keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime. Find out the answer to if I brush my teeth twice a day, why do I still get cavities, below.

To learn more about preventing cavities and keeping your teeth and gums healthy, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive oral examination and professional teeth cleaning.

What Causes Cavities?

Cavities are caused when bacteria make acids that damage a tooth’s outer surface or enamel. Certain bacteria with potential to cause decay form acids when they contact sugars and starches you consume. These acids destroy small amounts of enamel by removing minerals that typically protect your teeth from damage. The enamel weakens considerably with prolonged and excessive exposure to these acids, and a hole, or cavity, forms. This is why regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleaning are critical to optimal oral health. 

Do All Cavities Need a Filling?

The process of acids removing minerals from enamel is known as demineralization. In the initial stages of demineralization, you typically have no symptoms. However, as the enamel loses more minerals, sensitivity begins. Eventually, decay can affect the nerve of a tooth and cause severe pain.

The good news is that remineralization can occur with:

  • Proper oral hygiene that includes fluoride.

  • Eating a healthy, low-sugar diet.

  • Adequate salivary flow. Talk with your dentist if you experience dry mouth.

With complete remineralization, you can avoid a filling. Once symptoms develop, however, you will need a filling or other dental restoration depending on how extensively the decay damages your tooth.

Why Do I Get Cavities If I Brush Every Day?

There are several reasons you might get cavities even if you brush your teeth twice daily, such as:

  • Improper brushing technique. Even if you brush for the recommended two minutes, you will be prone to cavities if you do not adequately clean each surface of every tooth. 

  • Dietary choices. Eating a high-sugar or excessively acidic diet makes demineralization a frequent occurrence. Constant attacks on your enamel significantly increase your risk of developing cavities.

  • Dry mouth. Saliva is important to prevent cavities. It is also an essential part of enamel remineralization if a cavity develops. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be a side effect of certain medications or the result of some medical conditions or treatments.

  • Not flossing. Failing to floss is a common reason people who brush adequately can develop cavities. Tooth brushing cannot remove dental plaque that is between your teeth. Besides dental floss, other products can help clean between teeth, such as interdental flossers and water flossers.

  • Improper flossing technique. Like brushing, it is essential to use the correct flossing technique.

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