Does brushing a cavity make it worse?
This blog post will address the topic, “does brushing a cavity make it worse?” and cover topics like how does cavity develop, does brushing teeth prevent cavities, how does brushing teeth prevent cavities or prevent a cavity from getting worse, why do you keep getting cavities even though you brush and floss and how can you stop a cavity from getting worse or prevent its formation in the first place.
Does brushing a cavity make it worse?
No, brushing a cavity actually helps in halting the progress of a cavity and does not make it worse.
Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each time helps prevent cavities and stops the already formed cavities from getting worse.
Brushing twice, flossing daily and occasional mouthwash is essential to maintain good oral hygiene as they help in removing the plaque deposits that may accumulate to form cavities and tooth decay.
Cavity: How Does It Develop?
Consumption of sugary and starch rich foods expose the tooth to acids frequently, resulting in mineral loss from the enamel.
Infrequent tooth brushing habits cause poor oral hygiene, resulting in plaque accumulation.
Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that coats the protective enamel of your teeth. These bacteria produce acids by breaking down the food debris and the acids penetrate the enamel leading to formation of white spots on the teeth.
Appearance of white spot is an indication of the start of tooth cavity formation and can be reversed at this point.
Ignoring it and continuing with the poor oral hygiene can cause more frequent acid attacks and finally destroying the enamel leading to formation of cavities.
A cavity is a permanent damage of the enamel layer that needs to be repaired by using filling materials like composite or porcelain or an amalgam.
Does Brushing Teeth Prevent Cavities?
Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each time helps prevent cavities.
Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that coats the protective enamel of your teeth. These bacteria produce acids by breaking down the food debris and the acids penetrate the enamel leading to cavities.
Cavities, tooth decay, potential tooth loss and other dental infections may occur if plaque is left undistributed. Brushing teeth twice can prevent plaque accumulation significantly and maintain good oral hygiene.
How Does Brushing Teeth Prevent Cavities Or Prevent A Cavity From Getting Worse?
Brushing twice a day prevents Plaque Build Up
Brushing just once a day, either in the morning or at night, does not remove the food bits that remain stuck on your teeth.
As a result, the food debris is attacked by the bacteria forming a layer of plaque on your teeth and gums. The bacteria breaks down the food and releases acid.
The acid released erodes the enamel and weakens it to form cavities and thus resulting in tooth decay and gingival bleeding.
Brushing twice a day, once in the morning and once at night before going to bed, for two minutes is essential to prevent plaque build up and thereby prevent tooth decay.
Brushing Twice A Day Helps Prevent Tartar Buildup
Tartar is a calcified plaque on your teeth that forms when plaque is left undisturbed for about a day.
Brushing twice a day compared to brushing just once, removes the plaque before it hardens and calcifies to become tartar.
Tartar once formed, teeth become yellow and more prone to bacterial attack and decay and other periodontal diseases.
So to limit plaque accumulation, acid production and tartar build up on your teeth and thereby prevent tooth decay, periodontal diseases and gum bleeding, brushing twice a day as recommended by ADA is essential.
Why Do I Keep Getting Cavities Even Though I Brush And Floss?
You keep getting cavities even if you brush and floss your teeth because either you are not brushing or flossing with a proper technique or there may be several pits and grooves present on the occlusal surface of your teeth.
The food particles get stuck in these pits and grooves, not possible to remove from brushing, resulting in plaque buildup, acid attacks on enamel by plaque bacteria and finally cavities formation.
Visit your dentist to get those pits and grooves sealed to prevent formation of cavities.
How Can You Stop A Cavity From Getting Worse?
If the cavity is just in its initial stage where the white spot is visible on the tooth, it is the time to take preventive actions such as toothbrushing, mouth washing and flossing daily.
At stage one, when the white spot has just appeared, the cavity can be reversed with proper oral hygiene and eating some mineral and vitamin rich foods.
Toothbrushing To Prevent Cavities From Getting Worse
It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning, just after waking up and once at night, just before going to bed.
You must also clean your teeth and gums, each time after you have food but not with a toothbrush. Simple rinse with water is considered good for overall oral health and hygiene.
Following this tooth brushing habit will help you prevent cavity formation in the first place and also heal a small cavity naturally in its earliest stage.
NO To Tooth Brushing After Eating Acidic Foods
You must wait for 30 minutes to one hour after consumption of acidic foods and drinks. The acid in the food or drink otherwise may erode the enamel layer and regular habit may cause exposed dentin leading to pain and sensitivity and increased risk of developing cavities.
Use Gentle And Short Strokes When Brushing: The Correct Way To Maximise Benefits Of Toothbrushing
Use gentle, short strokes to brush your front teeth and thoroughly clean your mouth without abrading the enamel and preventing cavities from developing.
Brush the outside surfaces as well as the back molars and upper areas of your chewing surfaces. Brush the inside surfaces of both top and bottom front teeth by flipping your toothbrush upside down.
Brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria or plaque.
Use A Fluoride Toothpaste To Repair Cavity And Stop It From Getting Worse
Fluoride can greatly help achieve oral and dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay.
Fluoride reduces the amount of acid produced by the bacteria on your mouth and also helps the cavity in its earliest stage to repair and heal.
Floss Daily To Stop Cavities From Getting Worse
Many people, despite knowing the benefits of flossing daily, just neglect it.
According to a study, flossing is highly effective in reducing the interproximal caries risk.
Daily floss can help stimulate your gums and reduce plaque leading to lesser inflammation risk and increased healing process of the cavity in its earliest stage.
Consider Mouthwash To Stop Cavities From Getting Worse
Therapeutic Mouthwashes contain ADA listed active ingredients such as fluoride, peroxide, essential oils, cetylpyridinium chloride, and chlorhexidine, preventing cavities from forming and naturally healing the formed cavity in its earliest stage.
Therapeutic mouthwashes, as the name suggests have therapeutic action and control dental conditions like gingivitis, tooth decay and periodontal diseases. They also help remove halitosis.
According to a research published in the journal of clinical medicine research, mouthwash containing chlorhexidine gluconate or cetylpyridinium chloride showed antimicrobial activity against most bacteria in the plaque biofilm.
Another study concluded that the chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride containing antiseptic mouthwashes had higher in-vitro antibacterial activity against streptococcus mutans, a bacteria found in the plaque biofilm.
In India, Oil pulling has been practiced traditionally since ages to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body.
The practice of oil pulling involves swishing oil, sunflower or coconut oil, around in your mouth, keeping it for a few minutes and then spitting it out.
Yes it is traditional and now backed by several scientific studies.
A study concluded oil pulling using coconut oil to be an effective procedure in decreasing plaque formation and plaque induced gingivitis.
Similarly other studies have also found oil pulling to be an effective and safe procedure to reduce plaque accumulation and thus heal small cavities naturally.
Eat Foods Rich In Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus And Vitamins To Stop Cavities From Getting Worse
Calcium Rich Foods To Heal Cavities Naturally
Calcium plays an important role in enamel remineralization and saliva production.
The remineralization process is essential for the cavity to reverse naturally.
Optimal saliva production acts as a natural cleanser and prevents plaque accumulation and acts as an adjunct in the process of healing cavity naturally.
All thanks to calcium rich foods like cauliflower, nuts, salmons and figs.
Magnesium Rich Foods To Heal Cavities Naturally
Magnesium is essential for remineralization of the enamel as well as to maintain a balance of minerals like calcium and phosphorus.
Magnesium deficiency will lead to enamel demineralization and weakening of the enamel, halting the natural healing of the cavity.
Leafy green vegetables, avocado and squash seeds are some magnesium rich foods that you can consider.
Phosphorus Rich Foods To Heal Cavities Naturally
Foods like meat, eggs and dairy products are rich in phosphorus and help in naturally healing the cavity in its earliest stage.
Vitamin D Rich Foods To Heal Cavities Naturally
Vitamin D is essential for calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body and its deficiency eventually wastes the calcium you intake.
Spending a few minutes in the morning sun gives an adequate amount of vitamin D to the body. However, foods like fish and egg yolks are rich vitamin D sources.
Vitamin D And Cavity Prevention: What Research Says?
According to research, children with vitamin D deficiency had an increased risk of developing enamel defects and tooth fracture.
Another clinical trial reported vitamin D to be a prominent agent for caries prevention.
Study published in the journal of dental research, concluded that vitamin D is essential for lowering the risk of developing caries in children.
Consult Your Dentist Twice In A Year
It is important to get your oral health checked twice every year with an interval of 6 months between two visits.
Your dentist can help remove calculus and locate cavities and will also be able to spot potential oral health issues, if any, and offer treatment solutions.
Fluoride treatments initiated in the earliest stages of tooth cavity may help it to reverse and heal.
Dental Cleaning To Prevent Cavities Formation
Dental cleaning can help in removing the plaque and tartar and thus prevent decay or gum disease or periodontal disease of any type.
It is recommended to get your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist or dentist every 3 months or twice a year with a gap of 6 months.
Dental cleaning has several benefits like:
- Halts the progression of gum and periodontal diseases
- Removes tartar and prevents initiation of periodontal infection
- Prevents halitosis or bad breath
- Helps maintain good oral hygiene and prevents tooth loss
- Prevents formation of pockets between teeth and gums
- Protects infection of the tooth and root
- Prevents tooth decay and cavity formation
Dental Fillings To Prevent Cavities From Getting Worse
Dental filling, as the name suggests, is the use of various materials to fill the hole in the teeth called cavities.
Materials used to fill the cavities are referred to as Filling Materials and the process is known as Dental Filling.
Dental Filling seals the hole and prevents bacterial infiltration, resulting in healing of the cavity.
This blog post addressed the topic, “does brushing a cavity make it worse”. We understood how does cavity develop, does brushing teeth prevent cavities, how does brushing teeth prevent cavities or prevent a cavity from getting worse, why do you keep getting cavities even though you brush and floss and how can you stop a cavity from getting worse or prevent its formation in the first place.
The article outlined the benefits of toothbrushing, flossing, mouthwash, dental cleaning and dental fillings in preventing the cavity from getting worse.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Does Brushing A Cavity Make It Worse
Can You Brush Away A Cavity?
No, a cavity is a permanent damage of the enamel layer that needs to be repaired by using filling materials like composite or porcelain or an amalgam.
Once you have a cavity, it is not possible to brush it away. However, it can be filled and prevented from further damaging your tooth.
Does Brushing Your Teeth Everyday Prevent Cavities?
Yes, brushing your teeth twice everyday for two minutes each time, prevents plaque buildup and is regarded as the simplest way of preventing cavities.
Can you stop a cavity when it starts?
Yes, a cavity can be stopped in its earliest stage once it starts. Preventive actions like toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing and mouthwash can reverse the cavity formation in this stage.
How can I heal a cavity without going to the dentist?
You can heal a cavity without going to the dentist if and only if the cavity is in its earliest stage and has yet not reached dentin.
The dental cavity forms in five stages. First stage is the formation of white spots on the tooth surface and preventive actions like toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing and mouthwash can reverse the cavity formation in this stage.
However, if ignored, the cavity development may enter into its later stages where reversal is impossible to achieve and root canal is the only favourable treatment option.
How Do Cavities Heal Without Fillings?
To heal cavities without fillings, preventive actions like toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing and mouthwash must be incorporated as a good oral hygiene routine.
Cavities heal without fillings with the use of a new treatment called silver diamine fluoride (SDF). Silver Diamine Fluoride is a liquid that can be applied to halt the progress of cavities in all age groups.
Other FAQs about Teeth Cavities that you may be interested in.
The Tooth Decay Process: How to Reverse It and Avoid a Cavity. (2018)
5 Amazingly Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities. (2017)
Frequency of Daily Tooth Brushing and Development of any Type of Malignancy DAIKI KOBAYASHI, OSAMU TAKAHASHI, TAKURO SHIMBO Anticancer Research Aug 2019, 39 (8) 4415-4421; DOI: 10.21873/anticanres.13613
11 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy. (2019)
Can You Reverse a Cavity? (2020)
Can You Cure Tooth Decay (Cavities) Naturally?