How to Remineralize Teeth
Tooth Remineralization: All You Need to Know
If you’re wondering what remineralization is or how to remineralize your teeth, you’re in the right place. Essentially, tooth remineralization is a process that happens naturally. That is, the enamel requires calcium and minerals, so your body provides them through saliva.
Enamel protects your tooth’s innermost layers from acids and maintains health. However, a problem can occur when it starts to wear away. While it’s impossible for enamel to repair itself, you can still strengthen weakened enamel through remineralization. But, it’s important to act now and save your teeth from further erosion.
What Causes Demineralization?
Similar to remineralization, demineralization is also a naturally occurring process. But what causes it to happen? Well, to put it simply, demineralization occurs when your body doesn’t have the means to replace what it’s losing — in this case, minerals. Of course, there are a few different factors that can influence this process.
Our mouths can be somewhat of a bacteria hot spot. And that’s completely normal. The easiest way to divide bacteria is into two groups: harmful bacteria and helpful bacteria.
Understandably, harmful bacteria are known to cause tooth decay and related problems. They’re the reason plaque appears on our teeth. Plaque is the place for bacteria to gather and feed on sugar that you consume. That’s also where they make acids detrimental to the minerals and enamel of our teeth.
That is why proper nutrition is crucial to good oral health. Sugary foods and beverages are one of the primary causes of bacterial growth, which can lead to demineralization. Plus, not brushing your teeth properly can only accelerate the process.
As we’ve gathered, mouth acids are the main culprit when it comes to tooth demineralization. And consuming acidic foods and beverages is a way to contribute to this harmful process. Aside from food, conditions like bulimia and gastroesophageal reflux disease can also have an influence on acid levels, and so can certain habits like mouth breathing and snoring.
Lack of Saliva
Saliva is much more important to your oral health than you’d think. After all, it’s like nature’s mouthwash. That means it cleans your teeth and neutralizes the acid. Plus, it also has mineral ions that help rebuild your enamel. So, it’s understandable why problems with saliva production can lead to tooth demineralization and decay.
There are several factors that can influence saliva production, such as diseases and medications. So, if you are experiencing issues with saliva production, it’s best to talk to a professional about it.
How Do You Remineralize Teeth?
Now that we know the causes of demineralization, it’s time to talk about how to treat it. So, here are some things you can do to remineralize your teeth.
As we’ve established, proper saliva production is vital to good oral health and mineralized teeth. So, improving your saliva production is key to remineralization. Breathing through your nose, staying properly hydrated, and using a humidifier are some habits you can pick up to improve your saliva production.
Proper hydration is vital for many different aspects of your health. That includes keeping your teeth mineralized. Water contains protective fluoride, which can help in the remineralization process since it can replace some of the calcium in the enamel. Rinsing your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and beverages can greatly reduce demineralization.
Using toothpaste that’s been proven to assist with rebuilding enamel can be a game-changer. For example, Pronamel can be a good choice because it can help remineralize and protect your enamel.
Sugar-free gum can assist in maintaining a good saliva flow and protecting your enamel from acid. Also, it can also help with the process of demineralization.
Avoid Acidic Drinks
The best way to keep mouth acids under control is to ditch acidic beverages altogether. Sodas and juices not only have sugar, but they’re also highly acidic, which can be harmful to your tooth enamel and can lead to demineralization and tooth decay.
To make up for foods and drinks that raise acid levels in your mouth, you can eat foods that remineralize your teeth instead. Foods that are rich in calcium, such as dairy products, can help by mineralizing your enamel. In addition, foods that are rich in fibers, such as fruits and vegetables, can help with proper saliva production.
Lastly, the best way to mineralize your teeth is through a fluoride treatment. It’s low-cost and it’s easy to do. Plus, it can help with not only remineralization but also caries prevention. Fluoride treatment is a good choice, and it’s easy to find fluoride treatment dentist services.
Fluoride treatments are a good choice for adults, but starting them during childhood can really make a difference.
Fluoride treatment for kids is a good way to prevent tooth decay in the long run. It’s also done in a very simple way. A dentist simply puts a thin layer of fluoride varnish on the teeth, and it stays there for several hours.
After four to twelve hours have passed, it can be brushed off with a toothbrush. Dentists recommend fluoride treatment for kids to be done twice each year, for optimal results.
How Long Does Remineralization Take?
So, you’ve researched all the ways to remineralize your teeth, but how long will the process take? Well, the length of the remineralization process can vary, after all, repairing teeth in this way may take a while. However, the general consensus, if your enamel isn’t badly damaged, is that it lasts around three to four months.
How Do You Know It’s Working?
While the remineralization process is happening, you might start wondering if it’s really working. And if you catch yourself wondering, you can look for the following signs:
- You experience less tooth sensitivity
- Your teeth feel smoother
- You have smaller white spots
- Your teeth look healthier
- Your teeth look whiter