We’re back at it — breaking down more common mouth myths. Let’s talk about soft teeth: The idea that some people are naturally born with “soft teeth” which is what causes cavities. It’s an interesting concept, but our dentists are here to inform you…
Soft Teeth are a Mouth Myth.
Here’s the deal: people do not inherently have soft teeth. In fact, the enamel that covers the part of your teeth above the gum line is the hardest substance in your whole body – even harder than your bones!
Teeth are hard because of a crystal molecule they contain called “hydroxyapatite.” Hydroxyapatite is what makes teeth and bones resistant to bending or compressing. Your teeth are harder than your bones because the outer layer of enamel contains more hydroxyapatite than anything else in your body.
Tooth enamel is a non-living substance. Because it contains no living cells, your tooth enamel cannot repair damage from decay, damage, or wear. Only a dentist can correct these problems with proper dental services.
Then, What Causes Cavities?
So, if it’s not tooth softness that causes cavities, what is the cause? Cavities form when acid produced by bacteria dissolves your all-important tooth enamel. This missing enamel creates a ‘soft spot’ in the tooth which is the cavity. But the tooth itself is not soft.
Now, it’s true that some people may be more susceptible to cavities because of a combination (or all of) the following:
- Teeth grinding
- Medical issues (including acid reflux)
But even with these factors, it’s important to know that cavities are preventable!
The Key to Cavity Prevention
No one should resign themselves to believing they’re destined to suffer from dental problems. However, if you don’t care for your teeth, harmful bacteria can easily build up, causing decay. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Good oral hygiene habits. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Move your toothbrush in a gentle, circular pattern. If you scrub too hard, you could wear down that protective enamel. Afterward, make sure to floss.
Learn our eight tips and tricks to make flossing a daily habit.
- Eat a balanced diet. Too much sugar is a recipe for disaster when it comes to oral health. Make sure you enjoy a balanced diet, including plenty of raw fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy products. This can eliminate some of the cavity-causing bacteria.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated gives your body a chance to rid itself of harmful bacteria in the mouth. It’s an especially good idea to swish water after enjoying highly acidic food or beverages, especially sodas.
- Schedule preventative dental procedures. Dakota Dental Apple Valley Family Dentistry works together to stop those ‘teeth soft spots’ (A.K.A. cavities) from forming on teeth.
Keeping your tooth enamel strong and intact is key for your health.
What About Teeth Sensitivity?
Sometimes, people find their teeth are particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures or textures. This is a result of tooth damage (including cavities) or a thinning of that enamel. That’s another reason why protecting your tooth enamel and prioritizing cavity prevention is essential!
Take Control of Your Dental Health
Are you still concerned you have “soft teeth”? Our caring and gentle preventative dental work, and emergency dental treatment go a long way toward maintaining your oral health. At Dakota Dental, we may leave you with a ‘soft spot’ in your heart for your Apple Valley dentists – but never a ‘soft spot’ on your teeth!