Pretty much everyone gets a cavity or two in their lifetime, even with good dental hygiene. The average American adult has three fillings. But if you tend to get a lot of cavities, you may be wondering why.
Are you more cavity-prone than other people? What factors may affect the formation of cavities in your mouth? In this blog from Rio Vista Family Dentistry, we’ll look at a few different factors that may contribute to the development of cavities.
1. Improper Or Inadequate Brushing And Flossing
You need to brush at least twice a day for two minutes, and if you are very cavity-prone, we suggest brushing three times a day. Brush in the morning after breakfast, in the afternoon after lunch, and once at night, after your final meal of the day.
Be thorough. Set a timer to make sure you brush for two minutes. Clean the tops, fronts, and backs of each tooth thoroughly to remove bacteria, acid, food particles, and plaque.
You also need to floss once a day. Flossing helps remove food particles and other debris that are stuck between your teeth and gums, which often cannot be removed with brushing alone.
2. Not Using Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is not harmful. In fact, using fluoride toothpaste is extremely beneficial. Fluoride has the unique ability to attract minerals to your teeth, “remineralizing” the enamel to strengthen it and prevent the formation of cavities. To prevent cavities, brush your teeth with an ADA-accepted toothpaste that contains fluoride.
3. Dry Mouth & Dehydration
If you are dehydrated or have dry mouth, this interferes with saliva production. Proper saliva production is essential for your oral health. This is because saliva helps rinse away food particles and sugar, and maintains proper oral pH (acid levels) to reduce the risk of cavities.
So try to drink more water and stay hydrated to increase saliva production, and talk to your dentist if you are experiencing dry mouth.
4. Smoking Or Using Oral Tobacco Products
Using any kind of oral tobacco product dramatically raises your risk of cavities and gum disease. This includes smoking, chewing tobacco, snus, and more. To avoid cavities, quit smoking and oral tobacco use.
5. A Diet High In Sugary And Starchy Foods And Sugary Drinks
Sugary and starchy snacks contribute to decay, and sugary drinks like cola, sweet tea, energy drinks, and sports drinks are even worse. Maintain a balanced diet and avoid sugary drinks to reduce your risk of cavities.
6. Excessive Alcohol Use
Most alcoholic beverages are high in sugar and are acidic, which means they can contribute to tooth decay. Drink in moderation to reduce your risk of cavities.
7. Genetic Factors
While this is rare, some people do have genetically thin enamel, which can raise the risk of cavities quite a bit. The scientific term for this is “enamel hypoplasia.” People with this condition must be extra-careful to maintain good oral hygiene and healthy lifestyle habits to avoid cavities.
Wondering Why You Get So Many Cavities? Contact Us To Find Out!
At your six-month consultation and oral exam at Rio Vista Family Dentistry, you can learn more about your oral health, discuss your lifestyle and habits, and get a customized treatment plan from Dr. Lockwood, Dr. Reyes, or Dr. Campillo.
With the help of our expert dental team, you can learn more about the factors that contribute to a higher risk of tooth decay, and make adjustments to prevent cavities in the future. So don’t wait. Contact us online or give us a call at (619) 299-1122 to get started today.