If you have always wondered why you are more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities than your best friend is, your dentist may be able to provide you with some insight.
These days most people drink bottled water, but unfortunately bottled water does not contain fluoride. Unless you drip tap water regularly, your lack of fluoride can weaken the enamel on your teeth, which could lead to dental carries. If you cannot tolerate the thought of drinking tap water, ask your dentist what fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes he or she recommends and include them in your daily oral hygiene.
If you have old fillings or bad crowns and cannot remember the last time that you had them checked for cracks, chips, breaks and leaks, call your dentist. Silver amalgam fillings, tooth colored resin fillings, damaged crowns and new fillings that were not placed properly can be subjected to additional dental caries. Food particles and bacteria will make their way under your fillings and into the cracks causing more decay and cavities.
Your mouth is full of bacteria and when mixed with food particles will convert to acid. Rinse your mouth after you eat, and try to cut down on sugary snacks and sodas and reduce your intake of fermentable carbs. Too much bacteria in your mouth will cause plaque to form, which could lead to a softening of the enamel on your teeth.
According to Colgate, poor oral hygiene is one of the biggest reasons people get cavities. Brush your teeth twice each day and floss once at night or in the morning. Use bacteria killing mouthwashes and make sure to rinse after eating sticky or starchy foods and sweets.
Smoking and smokeless tobacco products will also make you more susceptible to tooth decay. Kick the habit as soon as possible as cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco can cause gum disease and gum recession, which could lead to tooth decay, bone and tooth loss.
If your family has poor dental health, chances are you will too. Families that do not practice good oral hygiene consume a diet of poor food choices for teeth and gums could be more susceptible to tooth decay. Enamel defects that can be hereditary as well as genetic defects could also be to blame for your dental caries.
Medications can often cause dry mouth as can smoking. Having a dry mouth can cause cavities as saliva helps to wash away the bacteria and acids in your mouth preventing plaque and tartar. Talk to your dentist who may be able to recommend a product for dry mouth.
People who have a genuine fear of the dentist will have more cavities. Dental phobias prevent people from sitting in the dentist chair. Without regular checkups, cavities will thrive.
Dental appliances such as metal braces and fixed bridges can be tough to keep clean. Make sure that you brush carefully if you wear dental appliances, especially in the hard to reach places as tooth decay can easily form.
If you would like more information, schedule an appointment with your dentist who can offer tips and advice about cavity prevention.