Why Do I Still Get Cavities Even Though I Brush My Teeth?

Nothing is more frustrating—and painful—than finding out you have cavities, even when you faithfully brush your teeth twice per day. Many patients are shocked and confused. After all, most of us are taught that brushing is the most important factor in dental health.

Unfortunately, brushing alone won’t prevent cavities. Genetics, flossing and soda intake all play a part in your oral health. If you suspect that you’re developing cavities despite flawless dental care, read on to learn more about this frustrating phenomenon.

Brushing alone is not enough

When a patient expresses surprise at having new cavities, the first question a dentist will ask is whether they floss, too. If the answer is no, that’s usually the reason. Brushing helps remove bits of food and plaque from your teeth, but it doesn’t always get the food and bacteria from between them.

Most adult cavities form between the teeth. These are called interproximal cavities. When you allow food and bacteria to sit between the teeth, the bacteria will start eating away at your tooth enamel and the tooth itself, forming a cavity. Once a cavity starts forming, there is no way to reverse the damage—you’ll need to get it filled. Even flossing and brushing regularly won’t help after the fact.

Other reasons you might get cavities

Of course, some patients really do brush and floss twice per day, yet still develop cavities. There are several reasons this could happen.

  • Your family medical history may play a role in how often you develop new cavities. Sometimes the bone may be weaker and more susceptible to decay, while others have saliva higher in calcium, which encourages tartar. Tell your dentist at Fioritto Dental if your relatives have trouble with their teeth. While there’s not much anyone can do to reverse your genetics, it will give your dentist a better idea of how you should approach dental care.
  • Crowded teeth. Since cavities form between the teeth, people whose teeth are crowded may be more prone to decay. If you can’t fit floss or a pick between your teeth, it’s hard to remove all that harmful bacteria. Our dentists can talk to you about potential solutions and help you weigh the cost versus the benefits.
  • Drinking soda. Do you drink sugary soda? Even if you take care of your teeth, all that sugar and acid has a cumulative effect on your oral health. If you can’t kick the soda habit, try to drink it in one sitting and with a meal. Brushing and flossing after drinking soda helps, but you should at least try to rinse your mouth out with water afterward.
  • Acidic foods. Finally, acidic foods and beverages have a similar effect. Coffee, tomato-based sauces and wine all wreak havoc on your dental health. Brush and floss after consuming anything acidic, and you’ll cut down on their deleterious effects.

It’s entirely possible to get cavities even when you’re following your Fioritto dentist’s instructions to the letter. Be sure to talk to us (honestly!) about your oral care routine so we can help you avoid cavities.

Ready to conquer cavities once and for all? Schedule an appointment with Fioritto Dental today!