I Brush And Floss, Why Do I Still Have Cavities?

One of the most annoying things that can happen at a dentist’s office is finding out that you have a cavity that needs to be filled. What can make this even more frustrating is when you know that you have good dental habits. It can be very confusing and disheartening to know that you brush twice a day and floss once a day and still have cavities develop. In this article, we will go over factors that contribute to cavity formation that might help you prevent cavities in the future.

Where Do Dental Cavities Come From?

In order to prevent cavities, we need to understand where they come from. Our teeth are made of a variety of minerals. When we eat and drink we often form plaque on our teeth. Bacteria in this plaque can make our mouths more acidic. When our mouths reach a dangerous level of acidity it is common for the minerals in our teeth to deteriorate. This is why it is important to remove harmful foods and beverages from your mouth quickly. Additionally, it is better to drink beverages like soda or coffee quickly than over the course of hours as it increases the duration of time your teeth are getting damaged.

How Foods And Drinks Affect Cavities

While brushing and flossing can help remove plaque from your teeth, it is important to be aware of how plaque gets there in the first place. Starchy and sugary foods are the largest contributors to plaque, while acidic foods/beverages can also negatively impact your teeth. It is important to limit how much soda, coffee, and similar beverages we drink. Additionally, it can be helpful to brush immediately after drinking one of these beverages to avoid staining or tooth decay. Drinking water with meals can also help decrease the acidity in your mouth by washing away harmful foods and beverages. 

Why When You Brush Matters

Another important element of dental health is when you brush your teeth. It is recommended that you brush twice per day, once in the morning and once at night. Brushing at night only works if you do not eat or drink anything (other than water) after you brush. This is because bacteria in our mouth can multiply while we sleep, so make sure that brushing your teeth is the last thing you do before you go to sleep. It is also recommended to brush before you eat anything in the morning as introducing fluoride to your teeth before your first meal can help protect your teeth against harmful bacteria. 

Cavity Prevention Procedures in Lisbon

Beyond at-home care there are a few ways you can prevent cavities by going to your dentist. Regular cleanings can help remove plaque and tartar that you cannot remove with your toothbrush and floss, dental sealants can protect your teeth from cavities, and fluoride treatments can strengthen your enamel. For more information on dental services offered at our office in Lisbon, please make an appointment with us.

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