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

Illustrated tooth and gums depicting periodontal disease.

Everyone knows that you need to brush your teeth twice a day to promote dental health. However, if you want to maintain the health of your pearly whites, that may not be enough. Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, you may still develop cavities. There are additional steps you can take to prevent this from happening.

Question to Ask When Brushing Your Teeth Is Not Enough to Prevent Cavities

How Long Do You Brush Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth is the most effective way to remove plaque and other debris from your teeth and gums. If you are not successful in completely removing food or sugar from the surface of your teeth, the leftovers can feed enamel-damaging bacteria in your mouth. This can cause cavities to form.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes twice a day. If you are not sure whether or not you are reaching the two-minute mark, you can use the timer on your cell phone. You can also play a song you enjoy that is two minutes long.

Are You Targeting All Areas of Your Mouth?

Not only do you need to brush your teeth for the right length of time, but you also need to make sure you are targeting the different parts of your mouth equally. Failing to do so can leave teeth-eroding bacteria and plaque behind.

You want to target all teeth surfaces. Spaces between teeth can trap food. So, be mindful of those areas. Areas that require extra attention may mean that you have to spend more than two minutes brushing your teeth.

Molars and premolars are important when it comes to breaking down food so that you can swallow it. However, they have crannies and grooves that can trap food. The fact that these back teeth are harder to clean can make it easy for plaque to build up, which can result in tooth decay and cavities. You can have your dentist add a sealant or filling to cover up these grooves so food does not get in them.

Are You Eating Healthy Food?

Candies like gummy bears can stick to the surface of your teeth, giving food to bacteria in your mouth. Acidic food and beverage can also wear away tooth enamel. Eating an orange daily is not going to damage your teeth right away. However, consistently eating a diet of sugary and acidic foods can lead to tooth decay.

It is important that you consume fiber-rich fruits. You also want to eat a lot of vegetables. These foods promote saliva production, which helps remove sugar from your teeth. Dairy products that contain calcium and fluoridated tap water can also promote dental health.

Are Health Problems Causing Tooth Decay?

Although family history cannot be the sole reason for tooth decay, it can be responsible for weak enamel, discolored teeth, and jaw disorders. If your misalignment is significant, you may need braces. For minor issues, like gaps between teeth, dental bonding can be an option.

If you are grinding your teeth or suffering from bruxism, it can lead to broken teeth. Medication, stress, and bite alignment are some common causes of bruxism. You can use a mouth guard to avoid damage to your teeth. The dentist can also adjust your bite or address the misalignment you may have.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause stomach acid to get in your mouth as a result of acid reflux. This acid can erode the enamel on your teeth. As a result, your teeth will become more sensitive to sugary, cold, and hot foods and beverages. If you are suffering from GERD, you need to seek treatment immediately as brushing your teeth will not stop the erosion of your tooth enamel.

How Can You Re-mineralize Your Teeth?

Saliva is an essential part of protecting your teeth. It removes harmful particles from your teeth. It also adds calcium and phosphate to your teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste can also protect your teeth from decay by making them stronger.

 

Certain medications can affect the production of saliva, causing dry mouth. Dry mouth can impact your oral health very quickly. Therefore, you must inform your physician promptly so they can prescribe another medication that does not have this side effect.

What Time of Day Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Although it is important to brush your teeth every day, there are specific times that are beneficial for your dental health. The bacteria that cause plaque usually multiply when you are sleeping.

 

Brushing your teeth as soon as you get up can remove the plaque and bacteria. You also get a fluoride boost before you have your breakfast. If you like to brush after you eat, wait 30 minutes. Brushing immediately after you eat will remove the minerals in your saliva that can protect your teeth.

 

You can drink water or chew sugar-free gum after eating to promote saliva flow and improve dental health. It is also important that you brush your teeth before going to bed so your teeth are not exposed to acid for a prolonged period of time.

Young patient receiving a dental check-up.

Do You Visit the Dentist Regularly?

Having a dental routine at home is an important part of keeping teeth healthy. It is also important that you have professional cleanings and checkups regularly. Most people do so twice a year. However, if you have gum disease or another problem, you may need to go to checkups more frequently.

When you go to a professional for checkups, they can spot any problems between your teeth or gums during the checkup with an X-ray. They can also help you with your dental routine to reduce your chances of experiencing tooth decay. Here at the Family Dental Center, we have years of experience in addressing any dental issues you may have. We proudly serve Coralville and all surrounding areas! Contact us today for a checkup.

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