How to Stop a Cavity From Growing

Young woman looking in the mirror, admiring her beautiful smile


Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for a healthy smile. You may know that certain habits can prevent dental caries, such as brushing daily, but do you know the secrets of how to stop a cavity from growing beyond that?

Let’s unravel the mystery! With some good habits and assistance from our Seattle dentist from Love Your Smile, you can keep those cavities at bay and optimize your oral health for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles!

Brush and floss regularly

First and foremost, it all starts with good oral hygiene practices. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste helps remove plaque — the sticky film that can lead to cavities.

Make sure to brush all tooth surfaces thoroughly, including along the gum line, and replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when the bristles become frayed.

Equally important is flossing daily. Dental floss reaches areas between teeth where a toothbrush can’t, removing food particles and plaque buildup.

Limit sugary and acidic foods

Cavity-causing bacteria thrive on sugar, which produces acids that erode tooth enamel. When discussing how to stop cavities from growing, at the top of the list is limiting your intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages.

Opt for healthier alternatives like fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, which promote good dental health.

If you consume sugary or acidic foods, rinse your mouth with water afterward to help neutralize the acids and reduce the risk of cavities. And remember, moderation is key when it comes to these foods.

Maintain a balanced diet

A balanced diet benefits your overall health AND plays a significant role in preventing cavities. For dental health, in particular, incorporate foods rich in essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. These strengthen tooth enamel and promote remineralization.

Good sources include:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Fish

Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash

Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and fight tooth decay. Therefore, brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily provides an extra layer of protection against cavity development.

Additionally, using fluoride mouthwash after brushing can help reach areas you missed or are unreachable with your toothbrush. Ideally, swishing for about thirty seconds helps deliver fluoride to your teeth and receive optimal benefits from this practice.

Visit your dentist regularly

Regular dental checkups are vital for maintaining optimal oral health. Dentists can identify early signs of cavities and provide appropriate treatment to stop them from progressing.

Aim to visit our dentist at least twice yearly for routine cleanings and examinations, more frequently if you’re at a greater risk.

During dental appointments, you may opt for dental sealants, a thin protective coating, for the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. This barrier helps prevent decay in the deep grooves and pits where cavities commonly develop.

Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water daily is crucial for maintaining good oral health. Water helps flush away food particles, keeping your mouth clean and minimizing the risk of cavity formation.

Additionally, water stimulates saliva production — part of your mouth’s natural defense mechanism against cavities. It works by neutralizing acids and washing away harmful bacteria.

Slowing or preventing cavity growth requires a combination of good oral hygiene practices, healthy dietary choices, and regular dental care, among others. By following these simple steps, you can keep your smile bright and prevent or slow the progression of cavities.

Ultimately, you can enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth with consistency, commitment, and knowing how to stop a cavity from growing.

So, take charge of your oral health today by calling Love Your Smile for an appointment. Make cavity prevention a priority. Your smile will thank you!

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