Unfortunately, most people discover at some point or another that life isn’t fair. And if you’re one of the many people that get cavities no matter what you do, you probably found this out early on! It’s an especially hard pill to swallow if you know people who don’t take great care of their teeth but rarely get cavities. So why does this happen – and what can you do about it? In this blog, you’ll learn about the many factors involved in tooth decay and find out how to reduce your risk!
Why Do Some People Get Cavities More Than Others?
Brushing and flossing are certainly important factors in the “cavity equation,” but there’s more to it than that. Here are some additional factors you might not have thought about:
- Diet – When it comes to getting cavities, it’s not only the amount of sugar you eat and drink, but the frequency as well. Here’s a great phrase that’s helpful to remember this: “Sip all day, get decay.” If you sip, graze or snack on anything sweet throughout the day, your chance of getting cavities increases by quite a bit.
- Dry Mouth – Saliva is very important because it washes away plaque and bacteria and also neutralizes the acids that cause tooth decay. When you have dry mouth, your risk of decay goes up a lot!
- Gum Recession – When the gums recede, the root of the tooth is exposed. Since the root doesn’t have protective enamel on it, it’s much softer and can more easily develop a cavity.
- Genetics – Some people are simply born being more susceptible to the type of bacteria that cause cavities.
- Tooth Anatomy – People with crowded teeth have a lot of nooks and crannies where plaque and cavity-causing bacteria accumulate. It’s also harder to reach these areas with a toothbrush and floss.
What Can You Do To Reduce Your Risk?
The good news is that there are steps you can take to counteract the factors mentioned above:
- See your dentist regularly – With regular checkups, your dentist can determine which factors are affecting you so they can address those issues specifically. Checkups are also important so that any potential cavities are caught when they’re small and easier to fix.
- Do well with oral hygiene – Along with dental care, brushing twice a day and flossing once are the foundation of good oral health.
- Reduce sugars – Minimize anything sweet like coffee with sugar, soda, dried fruit and juice, and avoid grazing, snacking or sipping throughout the day.
- Use the right products – Your dentist can prescribe a special, high-fluoride toothpaste that’s incredibly effective at preventing tooth decay. They can also recommend products for dry mouth and any tools such as electric toothbrushes and oral irrigators that can help with your oral hygiene.
Knowledge is power – especially when it comes to your oral health. Now that you know why cavities form and how you can prevent them, you can stay out of the dental chair as much as possible!
About the Author
Dr. Robert Long is a family dentist who knows how frustrating tooth decay can be for his cavity-prone patients. That’s why he and his staff always encourage prevention through a combination of professional care and good oral hygiene habits at home. If you have any additional questions, he can be reached via his website or at (817) 645-2437.