Getting a cavity does not make you a bad person
Cavities can be found without any indication such as tooth sensitivity or toothache. Being diagnosed with a cavity can be frustrating, embarrassing, even befuddling as it may feel like an indictment of one’s bad personal hygiene habits. But if you are doing the recommended minimum twice daily brushing and regular flossing but still getting a cavity, you may want to look into the small daily habits that accumulate - diet, eating, and brushing habits.
What is a cavity?
Simply put, a cavity is a hole in an empty space within a solid object. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body: over 95% mineral and comprised of hydroxyapatite, which is a mixture of calcium and phosphate ions. Let’s look into what causes a cavity in the hardest substance in the body.
It’s the acid: Our teeth are under constant attack
Many patients think bacteria cause cavities, but technically the acid which is the byproduct of bacterial activity is the direct cause of cavities. This acid is the only substance that can create enough damage to actually weaken the enamel of our teeth. Therefore excessive amounts of acidic food (including healthy food) consumption can contribute to demineralization of tooth enamel. If you have a sweet tooth, know that bacteria especially love sugar and will create a strongly acidic environment.
You can safely assume our teeth are under constant attack as our mouth is a haven for bacteria – many good but some bad - and a lot of food we consume (coffee, alcoholic drinks, fruits, meat, dairy, carbonated drinks, the list goes on) are acidic. Bacteria can even affect our gums and can travel from our mouth throughout our body. Over time bacteria can form biofilm or plaque, and the longer that plaque goes undisturbed the harder it becomes to remove.
However, focusing on bacteria and its acid is only half of the story.
The 2 hour rule: Give our teeth a break
The issue is not the amount (within reason) of acidic food but the frequency with which we allow our teeth to be under attack. Any time we consume food (especially sugary food), the bacteria in our mouth produce acid which lowers the pH in our mouth. Our saliva acts as a buffer to restore neutrality but this process takes time – up to 2 hours in some cases.
Imagine 2 people both drinking 2 cups of coffee daily. One has each cup in about 20 minutes and nothing other than water between meals. The other gradually sips the 2 cups of coffee all morning and afternoon, even taking a few trips to the microwave to heat it up. The same amount of coffee will result in a very different outcome. Because the constant-sipper’s saliva never gets enough time to return her mouth to a neutral pH, by the end of a work day the person’s teeth have been bathing in acid for 8 hours.
Timing is everything - Toothbrush time that can cause hurt enamel
Under the acid attack, our tooth enamel is at its softest. Brushing our teeth within 30 minutes of creating an acidic environment actually increases the risk of enamel erosion by removing valuable layers of hydroxyapatite. Let’s revisit our example above. Both people are excellent patients who keep a toothbrush and toothpaste on their desk. They both brush their teeth after lunch, however the first person waits until 30 minutes after lunch, while it doesn’t really matter when the other person brushes since they never go 30 minutes between sips of coffee anyway. Different toothbrush timing can cause higher likelihood of cavities.
The golden formula to prevent cavities
In summary, by using a remineralizing toothpaste, reducing the frequency and duration with which we acidify our oral environment, and waiting at least 30 minutes after consuming food to brush our teeth, we work in harmony with our body to maintain the remarkable balance that nature intended.
How OJOOK products provide physical and chemical cavity prevention
First, the mineral rich and alkaline property of Korean 9x baked bamboo salt rebalances the mouth to restore a neutral pH environment to suppress cavity germs while accelerating the healing process of gum inflammation.
Secondly, nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) is a proven supplement for remineralization and dry-mouth with several benefits: replaces lost enamel, stimulates new enamel formation, and provides a harder barrier for acid to penetrate.