Cavities happen all the time. In fact, over 90% of American adults have had at least one cavity. But if you’re constantly getting cavities and need dental fillings even though it seems like you're taking care of your mouth, you may be frustrated. Why are you still getting cavities, and how can you take steps to prevent them in the future? Let’s get into the details in this blog from Indian Valley Dental.
1. Improper At-Home Oral Hygiene
You need to brush twice a day for at least two minutes. We recommend brushing once in the morning when you wake up, and once at night after your final meal of the day. Make sure you use fluoride toothpaste, too. Fluoride is essential for protecting your teeth and preventing cavities.
Brushing alone isn’t enough, either. You need to floss once per day to remove food particles that may collect between your teeth and cause tooth decay. Using fluoride mouthwash after you floss can also help rinse away food particles and prevent cavities.
2. A Diet High In Sugar And Processed Foods
The bacteria that cause cavities love sugary foods and drinks, as well as starchy foods like potato chips and pretzels. If your diet is really high in sugar, simple starches, and processed foods, you may have a higher risk of tooth decay.
3. Poor Hydration
If you’re not properly hydrated, your mouth may produce less saliva. Saliva helps neutralize acid in your mouth and rinse away food particles, which is important for preventing cavities. Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. And choose tap water! It has a very small amount of fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from cavities.
4. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
Drinking plenty of water? Mouth still dry? Some medications and conditions can cause dry mouth, also called “xerostomia.” Older people also are more susceptible to dry mouth. If you think you have xerostomia, we recommend discussing this with your dentist or doctor. Chewing sugar-free gum or taking medications can help stimulate saliva flow and reduce your risk of cavities.
5. Smoking, Vaping, And Oral Tobacco Use
Smoking, vaping, and oral tobacco use like chewing tobacco are all associated with higher levels of tooth decay. The nicotine in these products also harms blood flow in the gums, which raises your risk of gum disease. Quitting smoking, vaping, or the use of any other tobacco product will help prevent cavities.
6. Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can contribute to dry mouth. And while alcohol itself doesn’t cause cavities, the sugars in cocktails, beer, and wine can all contribute. If you drink a lot of alcohol, this could be one of the reasons that you keep getting cavities. Cutting back on sugary drinks and alcohol, in general, could help you avoid future cavities.
7. Genetically Weak Enamel
In some cases, you may simply have weak or thin enamel due to genetics, and be more prone to cavities. This doesn’t mean that cavities are unavoidable, and you should still take steps to protect your teeth. However, weak enamel does mean that cavities are a lot more likely to happen, compared to people with stronger, thicker enamel.
Worried About Cavities? Come In For A Checkup Today!
Routine six-month teeth cleanings and oral exams are essential for preventing cavities, and for identifying them early if they do occur. If you’re overdue for a checkup and you’re worried about tooth decay in Souderton, our team is here to help. Contact Indian Valley Dental online or call us at (215) 723-5531 to schedule a consultation right away and get a checkup from Dr. Spencer Grossman.