Are you wondering why you still developed cavities even if you regularly brush your teeth—even after you brush twice a day, as per your dentist’s advice? But dentists and oral health professionals have always said that brushing alone isn’t a guarantee that you won’t develop cavities. There are several other steps you need to do to maintain your teeth and ensure overall oral health. For one, regular visits to your dentist can help ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy.
On that note, here are other reasons why you may have developed cavities:
1. Ice-chewing and nail-biting
When you’re done with your drink, your instinct would be to slide the ice from the bottom of the glass into your mouth and chew on it. You may also be in the habit of biting your nails when you’re nervous or anxious or you’re simply trying to pass the time. These are unconscious habits that could have unhealthy consequences on your teeth. When you repeatedly chew ice or bite your nails, or even use your teeth for things other than chewing food (like ripping open a bag of chips or holding an item), you are slowly chipping away at the enamel that’s protecting your teeth thus exposing these to the risk of corrosion and ultimately, developing cavities.
2. Brushing schedule
Yes, you may be brushing your teeth twice a day, but are you brushing at the most beneficial times? Dentists recommend you brush your teeth first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. While you slept, bacteria may have already built up inside your mouth, and this could in turn cause plaque buildup. Brushing your teeth first thing in the morning not only helps eliminate this bacteria buildup but also gives your teeth its needed fluoride protection for your first meal of the day.
Brushing your teeth after your last meal of the day, before you turn in for the night, will likewise help reduce acid exposure as you sleep.
Now, if you wish to brush your teeth after every meal, it is recommended that you do so about 30 minutes after your meal to ensure you’re not washing away the minerals in your saliva that could be healthy for your teeth and gums.
But in general, the optimal times to brush your teeth are in the morning before you eat or drink anything and at night after you’ve had your last meal and you’re ready for bed.
Grinding, or more specifically, teeth grinding, often occurs at night when you’re fast asleep, which means you’re not aware you’re doing it. You can watch out for a few tell-tale signs of grinding like loose or chipped teeth, worn down teeth, and cracked teeth. Your dentist can also tell if you are teeth grinding. They can give you a mouth guard or prescribe other forms of treatment.