Strong teeth are vital to a healthy mouth. To ensure your teeth are as healthy as they can be, it’s important that you keep your enamel strong. But what if your teeth have been demineralized? Here, we’ll explain what demineralization and remineralization are, and how you can promote a strong and healthy smile.
What Is Demineralization?
Demineralization is the process by which your teeth lose vital mineral content due to the presence of plaque bacteria, tooth decay (or cavities), and leftover starchy and sugary food particles in the mouth. This leads to a decrease in your salivary flow, the removal of minerals from your enamel, and white spots to appear on your teeth.
What Is Remineralization?
Remineralization is the process of rebuilding the minerals in your teeth that were lost when the bacteria and food particles began to soften and dissolve your enamel. Below are ways to encourage remineralization of your teeth:
Saliva is a vital tool in remineralizing your teeth. It naturally contains enzymes that cleanse your teeth of common oral bacteria and germs, and strengthens your teeth by depositing minerals like fluoride, calcium, and phosphorus ions back into your enamel. Saliva also creates the right environment for remineralization to occur by reducing the acid levels in your mouth and maintaining your mouth’s pH levels at a neutral state. To encourage saliva production:
- Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated!
- Limit your consumption of dehydrating drinks like coffee, soda, and alcohol.
- Chew sugar-free gum and sugar-free mints.
- Munch on crunchy fruits and vegetables, like apples, celery, and carrots.
- Avoid chewing tobacco and smoking, which increase your risk for dry mouth, bad breath, and oral cancer.
- If you use mouthwash, choose an alcohol-free kind.
While saliva is the most important aspect of the remineralization process, diet and oral hygiene are tied for second. Follow these tips for a remineralization boost:
- Limit your consumption of starchy, sugary foods like chips and candy, which tend to stay behind on your teeth after you’ve eaten. The bacteria in your mouth will then feed on the food particles to create acids that will wear away and demineralize your enamel.
- Limit your consumption of acidic foods and drinks like citrus and soda, which strip your teeth of vital minerals.
- Brush twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day with either traditional string floss or a water flosser.
Another vital aspect of the remineralization process is coming in for regular checkups and cleanings every six months so we can ensure your teeth are healthy, strong, and squeaky clean. Contact us to schedule your next appointment!
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