Why do I get cavities despite brushing and flossing my teeth twice a day?

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One of the best ways to prevent cavities is by brushing and flossing correctly. But unfortunately, people may end up with caries despite following oral hygiene habits. Let’s take a look at some possible reasons behind the formation of tooth decay in spite of brushing and flossing regularly.

1. Your toothpaste might be the culprit

If you experience dental problems within a few days after changing your toothpaste, the chances are that your toothpaste may have a higher relative dentin abrasion (RDA) value. Such dental care products can cause damage to the teeth surface. No matter if it is regular toothpaste or whitening one, always opt for a product with an RDA value of 250 or less. Always ensure it has the ADA seal of approval.  

2. Molars and premolars remain prone to decay

Back teeth (molars and premolars) play a crucial role in breaking down food before swallowing. They have multiple crannies, pits, and grooves that trap food particles. Plus, they are harder to clean and can quickly turn into a hub for plaque. These factors make them more prone to decay and cavities. 

Dentists often recommend patients to opt for tooth sealants or tooth-colored filling to cover pits and grooves on the back teeth for protecting them. 

3. Avoiding toothpaste containing fluoride is not a good idea

Fluoride can prove to be of great help as it prevents cavities during the early stages of decay. It can also reverse tooth damage up to a certain extent by restoring enamel. Unfortunately, people use dental care products containing natural alternatives that lack fluoride. Their oral health suffers due to lack of fluoride, in spite of brushing regularly. Thus, dentists recommend patients to use toothpaste and mouth rinse containing fluoride. 

4. Hereditary issues

Some individuals always face a higher risk of developing dental health issues due to family history. Studies suggest that you cannot entirely blame family history for tooth decay. However, research has proved that hereditary problems can be the reason behind weak enamel, jaw disorders, misaligned & discolored teeth. Significant misalignment requires clear aligners or braces based treatment. A dental bonding treatment can be the best option to treat minor alignment issues and gaps between two teeth. 

5. Brushing and flossing incorrectly

Tips on your bristles will clear the plaque and debris accumulated on the surface and pits if you ensure bristles are angled towards the gum line. Remember, pressing the toothbrush harder on the tooth surface won’t result in better results. Instead, make sure you spend at least two minutes brushing. Give equal importance to areas along the gum line as well as chewing surfaces. Gentle, short strokes can work fine for all tooth surfaces. Bridges, fillings, or crowns also need attention during cleaning. 

Flossing can help getting rid of food particles and plaque that the toothbrush simply cannot reach. Run the floss up and down between gaps. Use it as a tool to squeegee both sides of the teeth. Floss as many teeth as possible. For a fresher breath, gently brush your tongue daily. Use a tongue cleaner if required.

6. Frequent snacking can create problems

Some dieticians urge people to opt for multiple snacking sessions rather than a filling meal. But unfortunately, this results in a sort of constant acid rain on the teeth. Snacking food items even with a little bit of sugar throughout the day can result in a continual cover of plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth. 

Eating items like chips, dry cereal, chewy candies, cookies, dried fruits, and cake can result in the growth of harmful bacteria due to sugar content. Surprisingly, even honey and dairy products make it in the list due to sticky particles that can cling to the teeth and slowly result in decay. Such particles cannot be washed away by rinsing with water. In such cases, even brushing twice a day may not help as debris and sugar cover the teeth for hours.  

Opting for more filling meals is better than letting food linger on teeth throughout the day. Brushing twice a day is crucial for people who love snacking frequently. Also, rinsing your mouth after every meal can considerably decrease harmful bacteria in the mouth and improve saliva production. 

7. Reflux or vomiting

Patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) end up with stomach acid in their mouth due to acid reflux. This acid results in dental enamel erosion and discoloration. Put simply, teeth lose their protective coating and become sensitive to sweet foods, cold and hot items. Merely brushing does not help. Such patients should immediately find the reason behind reflux or vomiting and get GERD treatment if required. 

8. Dry mouth

Bad bacteria from ingested food items create acid in the mouth, and saliva is the best defense against the same. It washes away plaque and controls the formation of decay that results in cavities. Some medicines impact the salivary glands in the mouth that produce saliva, resulting in a dry mouth. Ignoring this medical condition can affect the person’s oral-health within a short time. So, patients must inform their physician about dry mouth. If it is a possible medication side-effect, the doctor will prescribe a substitute medicine. 

9. Teeth-grinding

Stress and anxiety, TMJ disorder, crooked teeth, an abnormal bite, and sleep disorders may result in teeth grinding. At times, patients do not even realize that they have become a tooth-grinder. 

Grinding your teeth damages enamel and exposes sensitive layers of the tooth. A dentist can examine the mouth and diagnose teeth-grinding. Treating the same with a mouth guard or other dental devices can help control further damage.

If you face oral health issues despite proper oral hygiene habits, it is advisable to opt for a dental check-up. You should consider fixing an appointment at TruCare Dentistry if you are in Roswell (GA). We provide a wide range of dental services at excellent prices. If you’re a resident of Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock, then you don’t have to look any further.



Can you get cavities even if you brush well?

Yes. Though good oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing helps in preventing cavities, you may still get cavities. The reasons can be many, like the spaces between teeth that easily trap food, consuming too much cavity-causing foods and beverages, avoiding regular professional-level cleanings and checkups, etc. 

What is the average number of cavities a person has?

As per a report by the National Institutes of Health, about 92% of adults in the U.S. between the ages of 20 and 64 years have had cavities in their permanent teeth. A person has an average of 3.28 cavities.

How do cavities heal without fillings?

With the right approach to oral hygiene, cavities can be prevented and even heal on their own. Good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) plays an important role in restoring the minerals in your teeth and halting decay. However, it is vital to schedule regular checkups and cleanings to detect any tooth decay that may be developing. 

Do cavities keep growing?

Most cavities take about 6 to 5 years to develop. If you or your dentist are able to catch a cavity in its early stage, the damage can be reversed. 

If you face oral health issues despite proper oral hygiene habits, it is advisable to opt for a dental check-up. You should consider fixing an appointment at TruCare Dentistry if you are in Roswell (GA).