Updated: Feb 15
Most of the people are trying to adapt to new and better habits like working out, eating healthier, self-reflecting and more while staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a common question among plenty of patients that come to us is regarding their oral health, especifically, “Why Do I Still Get Cavities Even After Brushing My Teeth Twice A Day ?”.
While there is a different answer for this for each individual, there a few common principles about cavity formation which can help in addressing this concern:
1. How are cavities formed?
2. How do you remineralize your teeth?
3. What’s the best time of the day to brush your teeth?
How are cavities formed?
Minerals are the building blocks of our teeth. Everytime you drink or eat starchy and sugary foods, bacteria present in the plaque on your teeth begin the production of acid. This acid left unattended, eventually eats away at the enamel (protective layer on your teeth). When your mouth becomes more acidic as a result of the pH dropping below a critical value, your teeth starts losing those natural minerals present in the teeth.
It takes around 30-60 minutes after drinking or eating for the pH in your mouth to get back to normal. However, you’ll be required to start the process all over again, if you consume something else high in sugars or starch without giving your mouth enough time to recover after drinking or eating.
For instance, it is much better to drink a can of soda in 10 minutes rather than sipping it over the course of an hour, as by doing this, your mouth will only be exposed to this acidic beverage for 10 minutes over being exposed repeatedly for 60 minutes. It is better for your teeth to start the re-mineralizing process sooner rather than later.
How do you remineralize your teeth?
Saliva is our friend! Saliva plays a huge role in keeping our teeth protected. It helps by flushing out the harmful particles and acts as a natural buffer. Our saliva consists of the same minerals that are found in our teeth, so after eating, saliva helps add phosphate and calcium back to the teeth.
However, every so often that may not be enough, and that’s where fluoride comes in. By drinking tap water with fluoride or using a toothpaste containing fluoride, these properties help protect your teeth by embedding themselves in your saliva.
As a result, whenever your teeth are recovering from acid and sugar in the cookies you ate or juice you drank, your teeth can use these fluoride minerals present in your saliva to create a more decay-resistant and stronger enamel.
What’s the best time of the day to brush your teeth?
It is a known fact that brushing our teeth twice a day is important. But what exactly is the best time to brush?
While you’re asleep, without your knowledge plaque-causing bacteria are multiplying in your mouth. To remove this, brushing your teeth first thing in the morning before consuming anything else can be helpful. This habit of brushing your teeth in the morning can help in introducing fluoride into your mouth before consuming your first meal of the day. You can also cleanse your mouth of bacteria which may have multiplied overnight, which limits the number of particles turning to acid from your breakfast!
If you’re among those groups of people who prefer brushing their teeth after a meal, make sure to wait for at least 30 minutes before you brush. As brushing immediately after finishing a meal can remove those helpful minerals in your saliva. If you need a rinse after eating , chewing sugarless gum or drinking water can help increase the saliva flow for it to do its job in keeping your teeth healthy.
Apart from all this, make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly before heading to bed, this will prevent prolonged acid exposure while sleeping. Simply put, it’s very important to brush your teeth twice a day to help remove harmful particles and bacteria from your mouth. However, you can make the most of this routine by making it the first thing when you wake up, and also the last thing before you go to sleep.
If you have questions regarding your oral health routine especially during these unprecedented and stressful times, you can request an appointment at 1 Health, or call our dental experts to help you solve any query you may have regarding your oral health.