Does drinking milk prevent cavities?

This blog post will address the topic, “does drinking milk prevent cavities” and cover topics like foods that cause cavities, foods that prevent dental cavities and other natural methods of preventing cavities.

Does Drinking Milk Prevent Cavities?

Yes, drinking milk prevents cavities. According to a study, milk and cheese contain anti-cariogenic components such as calcium, phosphate and casein, which protects the teeth from developing cavities.

Foods That Cause Cavities


Sugar and sugar-rich foods and drinks are extremely harmful for your oral health as well as for your overall health.

Sugar allows plaque bacteria to grow faster and significantly contributes to cavity development and tooth decay.

A research study concluded that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages on a regular basis increases the chances of having dental caries.

Another study reported that all sugars can be fermented by the oral bacteria and are therefore a potential cause of cavities and tooth decay.

Cold Drinks Or Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks are highly acidic and contain a very high amount of sugar, resulting in increased risk of developing cavities.

The high acid content in these carbonated drinks create small pores on the tooth enamel and results in increased susceptibility to cavity-causing microorganisms.

Brushing teeth immediately after drinking carbonated drinks erodes the enamel, weakens it and increases the risk of cavity formation.

White Bread

White bread is broken down to starch and finally to sugar in the mouth. It may stick in the pits and fissures on the tooth surface or in the gaps between teeth, causing bacterial attack and cavity formation.

Whole-wheat brown bread must be preferred over white bread.

Alcohol And Smoking

Alcohol dehydrates you and causes your mouth to go dry. Dry mouth is a breeding ground for all cavity forming bacteria and your chances of forming dental cavities increases multifold.

Smoking also causes dryness in the mouth leading to increased risk of dental cavities or decay.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C but they also contain high amounts of acid which is a risk factor for cavity formation.

You should mix them while taking food and must not forget to rinse carefully afterwards.

Sticky Foods Like Raisins

Sticky foods are worst for your teeth and a significant contributor to cavities.

While eating they stick to cervices present on your tooth surface and are difficult to remove. Cavity-causing bacteria accumulate, release acids, weakens enamel and forms cavities.

Foods That Prevent Dental Cavities

Calcium Rich Foods 

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 

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 

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 

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.

Study published in the journal of dental research concluded that vitamin D is essential for lowering the risk of developing caries in children.

Other Natural Methods Of Preventing Cavities

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.



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.

Do Not Immediately Brush 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 Your Teeth

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

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 Get Maximum Benefits Out Of Tooth Brushing

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

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.

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.


This blog post addressed the topic, “does drinking milk prevent cavities”. We understood about foods that cause cavities, foods that prevent dental cavities and other natural methods of preventing cavities.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Does Drinking Milk Prevent Cavities

Does Milk Keep Your Teeth Healthy?

Yes, milk keeps your teeth healthy and strong. Milk contains anti-cariogenic components such as calcium, phosphate and casein, which protects the teeth from developing cavities by forming a protective layer on the surface of the teeth.

Does Milk Ruin Teeth?

Yes, milk may ruin teeth and cause tooth decay if you do not properly rinse your mouth with water after drinking milk.

Milk is lactose-rich and that contributes to cavity formation and tooth decay if poor oral hygiene is maintained after drinking milk.

Should You Brush Your Teeth After Drinking Milk?

Yes, you should brush your teeth after drinking milk as it is rich in lactose sugar and if left unbrushed may lead to dental decay and severe cavity problems.

It is crucial to brush your child’s teeth just after drinking milk to prevent caries and cavities.

Can Lactose-Free Milk Cause Cavities?

Yes, lactose-free milk can cause cavities as it still contains simple sugars like galactose and glucose.

You must make sure to brush your teeth after having a cup of milk otherwise the bacteria will grow on them, release acids and form cavities further resulting in decay.

Can Dental Caries Be Reversed?

Yes, dental caries can be reversed only if the cavity or decay is in its earliest stages and has not yet reached dentin or pulp.

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.

Other FAQs about Teeth cavities that you may be interested in.

Do oranges cause cavities?

Do tiny cavities need to be filled?

Does any food cause cavities?


Is Milk Good for Your Teeth? Colgate

The 8 Worst Foods for Your Teeth. (2016)

5 Amazingly Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities. (2017)

Park, Sohyun, et al. “Association of sugar-sweetened beverage intake during infancy with dental caries in 6-year-olds.” Clinical nutrition research 4.1 (2015): 9-17.

Can You Cure Tooth Decay (Cavities) Naturally?

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