Do you maintain a disciplined oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, but your teeth still develop cavities? Rest easy, you’re not going crazy. There is a scientific reason why your teeth can still be susceptible to decay, even if you maintain an exceptional daily routine. Dallas dentist Dr. Truong explains how the rule of seven can reduce acid attacks on your teeth in between brushing times.

Seven Minutes and Counting…

If you brush your teeth twelve hours apart, you are probably doing a good job of controlling the bacterial population within your mouth before it has a chance to infect your oral tissue. Unfortunately, it only takes seven minutes for the acid from your food to cause damage to your teeth. The first “seven” in the Rule of Seven is the natural pH (acid alkaline balance) of your mouth. A pH of seven means your mouth is neutral (seven is also the pH of water). If a solution has a pH of less than seven, it is considered acidic. When foods and beverages drop the pH level in your mouth to 5.5 or below, the acids begin to attack your teeth. In normal cases, your saliva has natural pH-balancing properties that help regulate the acidity in your mouth to prevent it from attacking. However, what we eat can change the pH of saliva as well. The second “seven” measures an amount of time; it only takes seven minutes for your teeth to incur damage from acid attacks, which leads to tooth decay (cavities).

Protect Your Teeth from Acid

The last rule of seven is also a measurement of time. Within seven minutes of eating, rinse your mouth out with water for at least seven seconds. The neutral pH of water will help to bring your mouth’s pH back up to its normal level of 7.0. If you tire of drinking water, milk also serves as an acid neutralizer, and has the added benefit of reinforcing your tooth’s enamel with calcium and phosphate, which strengthens your teeth’s protection. To learn more about protecting your oral health, call Viva Dental in Dallas today at (214) 337-7800. If you live in Richardson, subscribe to this blog to learn when our Richardson office opens!