Why do I keep getting Cavities?

September 17, 2019 | Posted in Prevention

 Do you find you or child hearing the news that you have yet another cavity? You’ve been brushing twice a day, you even stepped up your flossing game, so what is the deal? Chances are it could be your diet. Most people have some idea that sugar is related to cavities. "If you eat too much candy you'll rot your teeth!" we were always told. So what about the people, your wife or brother, that can eat as much as they want and brag about how they rarely brush and  floss and yet they NEVER have cavties! What’s the deal? Here is the breakdown, strep mutans (sounds scary right?!) is one of the leading bacteria in our mouth that contributes to cavity formation. Our mouth is full of a whole flora of different bacteria, but some have a higher count in the cavitiy forming kind than others. So what do these bugs have to do with sugar? Strep mutans and other cavity causing bacteria use carbohydrates to feed on as an energy source, the by product is ACID. This acid, when exposed to teeth frequently, weakens the outer enamel layer, eventually creating a hole, aka a cavity.
    Most of us think of sugar in the candy form is bad for your teeth, but heres the thing, its CARBOHYDRATES, that means your favourite chips or the tasty Goldfish snacks your kids loves, granola bars etc, they all get stuck in the grooves and pits of our teeth while we eat. Combine that with a high frequency exposure, i.e multiple times throughout the day, snacking in between meals, sipping on coffee or soda throughout the day, juice in the morning, WHAM that’s a lot of exposure!

So what is one to do?
1. Don’t freak out, there is a way to counter act this!

2. See your dental professional, We are here to help you! We don’t want you getting cavities anymore than you do, our goal is PREVENTION.  When we educate you on brushing and flossing and ask you to swap out 1 sugary drink a day for water it’s for a good reason, the health of your teeth and your mouth. Take a look at your daily diet, how much water are you drinking, do you snack frequently between meals? What are those snacks and what are those drinks? By having the awareness of what we are consuming, that is the first step in the battle.

3. Do you have cavities that are untreated? You know the one that was recommended to be fixed 6 months ago but you haven’t gotten around to see the dentist yet? Guess what, active cavities to, contribute and lead to risk of developing larger and new cavities on adjacent teeth. Our saliva is always spreading bacteria around, remember that bacteria Strep Mutans, well it is feeding off carbs in your diet and creating acid, and if you have a cavity that is yet to be fixed, that bacteria is having a big party in your mouth, on your teeth! Get your cavities fixed and talk to your dental professional on ways you can alter your diet and brushing habits to have create a healthier oral environment.

7 Easy tips to reduce your risk of decay right now:
1. Swap out 1 sugary beverage a day for water
2. Rinse with water after snacking when brushing isn’t an option
3. Introduce baking soda rinses into your nightly routine. Baking soda is HIGH on the pH scale, remember that acid? If we alter our pH balance in our mouth to be more alkaline, the acidity has a diminished effect. Science 101.
4. Don’t skip brushing at night! We get it, the day is long and it may be the last thing you want to do at the end of the day, but skipping at night is the worst! At night our salivary flow decreases, during the day we are talking, eating, drinking, chewing etc. and the flow is higher and bathing our teeth. At night that all stops, so whatever you have had throughout the day, it is sitting there like a big BUFFET for bacteria. Its gross we know, that’s WHY YOU SHOULDN'T SKIP AT NIGHT!
5. Try to keep in between meal snacking to under 20 minutes - no grazing throughout the day. Remember that acid, it has a 20 min window to do its work, if we keep feeding the machine, that window of enamel breaking acid time is extended and more damage is done.
6. Do you love candy? Can you swap it out for chocolate? The chewy stickiness of candy makes things even more complicated because it gets stuck in our grooves and pits of teeth, not to mention no one has ever broken on a tooth on a hard candy- SAID NO DENTIST EVER! We see it all the time, broke a tooth, cracked a filling eating smarties etc. But chocolate can melt, which means it doesn’t stay stuck in our molars, and bonus if you enjoy dark chocolate for its antioxidant benefits.
7. You can still enjoy your favourite snacks and treats, but rinse with water afterwards, or even better, brush and floss. As in all things MODERATION IS KEY!

Hopefully this is practical information and a few things can be easy to implement into your lifestyle. Tried all this and still no help? See us, you may require additional cavity fighting toothpaste and mouth rinses that are prescribed for high risk cases. Remember what we do now effects how we smile, eat, chew laugh and enjoy life later. We want you to keep your teeth as long as you need them!