Why You May Still Be Dealing with Cavities Despite a Perfect Oral Care Routine

Does your cavity track record not line up with your oral hygiene diligence? This might be why.
At Asleep for Dentistry Burlington, we like tell our patients that they have healthy, cavity-free mouths - but the reality is, tooth decay and cavities are very common.

The best way to protect your smile from decay is to brush your teeth twice a day for two full minutes (160 seconds) each session, and to never skip a day flossing. Visit your dental professionals for a check-up and cleaning appointment every 6 months or as necessary to keep your smile on the right track to optimal health, and to catch any tooth decay as early as possible before it begins to damage beyond the surface enamel.

However, there are still many patients that stick to a proper daily oral care routine and yet still experience cavities. So, what’s the problem?

Well, we can’t forget about our diets when it comes to the development of tooth decay and cavities. With sugar being the main food source for decay-causing bacteria (and with sugar being present in almost everything we eat or drink) - it can be a challenge to entirely avoid cavities even with a pristine oral care routine. Look at your food labels and see how much sugar is really in your food.

Now, since sugar is virtually unavoidable in our diet, what can we do to prevent cavities?

First, we need to be aware of how often we are eating. Although we've been told that eating several small meals every day is better for controlling weight (which has actually been debunked!), this style of eating also feeds the bacteria in our mouth more frequently. This then creates more harmful bacterial growth and acid production - which over time, eats at the enamel through a process called (demineralization).

So, what can we do about it? Firstly, try to choose foods like cheese and raw vegetables to snack on that don't contain a lot of or any sugar. On the other hand, granola bars, cereals, dried fruits and fruit juices all have high sugar content - and while they may be tasty or give you a boost of energy throughout the day, they also boost acid production.

Secondly, you may need to brush more often than the recommended two times a day, or floss more often than the recommended one time a day. Thirdly, you’ll want to amp up your water consumption - and this especially goes for people who have a dry mouth environment. This is because water can dilute and rinse away the acid produced in your mouth, as well as play a role in washing away any food bacteria and debris from the surfaces of the teeth.

So, if you’re still struggling with cavities despite an excellent oral hygiene routine, take a look at the foods you are eating.

See how much sugar content is really in your diet (and take note of how often you snack on these foods/beverages). Eating several meals and snacks a day is not a problem as long as you watch what you eat. And when you do consume sugary foods and/or beverages, then just simply don't forget to brush and floss more often to remove the bacteria in your mouth - or at least drink more water and swish it around in your mouth if you are unable to brush at certain times during the day.

The key is to just keep on top of that bacteria, and remove it as often and as thoroughly as you can!

Dr. Toong