Do you brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes two or even three times a day? Do you floss your teeth every day, sometimes even twice a day? Do you see your dentist for professional cleanings religiously two or even three times a year? And do you still have tooth decay?
You (lucky you), may be one of many people who naturally are more susceptible to cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis, etc.
Do you floss and brush your teeth religiously and STILL get cavities?
It’s not your fault: blame it on your biological makeup.
Just about everyone on the planet (97 percent of us) gets at least one cavity (known in the dental world as dental caries) in our lifetime, according to a 2002 article in Scientific American.
Remember that cavities are caused by plaque that form on our teeth. Plaque basically is a sticky substance found on our teeth that’s made by the millions upon millions of individual bacteria that live in our mouths. The bacteria in plaque use the sugars contained in the sugary and starchy foods we eat and drink to create acids that then eat away at our tooth enamel.
Over time, these repeated assaults on our enamel cause it to break down, resulting in a hole (cavity) on the tooth’s surface.
Our saliva as well as brushing/flossing our teeth remove a good amount of these acids and plaque, and regular cleanings/checkups with your dentist remove even more, but no process is perfect and so most of us get at least one cavity in our lifetime.
So if you’re brushing and flossing more than regularly, if you’re heading to the dentist religiously, if you’re not eating too many starchy/sugar foods and drinks, why (oh, why!?) are you getting more cavities than others?
In a nutshell, if you take good care of your teeth and you still get cavities, it’s probably because of one of the following reasons:
- You have a different pH factor than others, one that lacks some fluoride ions that helps restore tooth enamel. This is probably hereditary (check with your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. to see if they also get more cavities than other people).
- You could have deep grooves in your teeth (also hereditary) that give bacteria in your mouth a nice hideaway from your toothbrush and floss, allowing them to stay in your mouth long enough to produce cavities.
If you feel this may be you, discuss it with your dentist. He may recommend that you come in for checkups more than twice a year (every four months or every quarter) for professional cleanings. He also may recommend that you brush/floss more frequently.
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Great post. Thank you for the information you provided. It may be true that some people do have teeth that are more susceptible to cavities, something to cause decay - usually food. There are millions of little bacteria in your mouth that eat your food every time you eat. They make acid and smear it on your teeth. The acid eats away at your tooth until a cavity develops. If you have an abundant amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, you’re at a high risk for getting a cavity. Therefore, it is important rinses your mouth at least once a day with an antiseptic mouthwash. This will kill germs that reside in your mouth, further protecting your teeth and gums from oral decay.