Feb 12, 2021
Oral health’s importance goes beyond eating, speaking, and smiling. In fact, your oral health is a reflection of your overall wellness. The oral cavity is the entryway to the digestive and respiratory systems. While it’s normal for your mouth to carry bacteria, excess amounts of bacteria create problems for the entire body, including infections and disease.
As you age, everyday oral activities break down your tooth enamel and lead to difficulty eating. Enamel demineralization, or the loss of healthy minerals that protect enamel, leads to tooth loss and gum disease. Common signs of tooth demineralization include white spots, cavities, weakened teeth, and sensitivity. When your body lacks calcium, it pulls it from other sources like bones and teeth. This causes further vulnerability and increases the likelihood of damage. When you begin to notice cavities, your enamel is already experiencing demineralization. Therefore, it’s important to take steps toward remineralizing your teeth to avoid cavities. This involves replacing the minerals, primarily calcium, to re-strengthen your enamel. This minimizes the probability of losing teeth, experiencing gum disease, and cavities.
How to Remineralize Your Teeth
There’s a number of ways to remineralize teeth. The foundation of a healthy mouth is an oral routine. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day removes naturally occurring bacteria as well as bacteria caused by food residue. It is recommended that you use a toothpaste with fluoride. It’s also important you reduce sugar intake because sugar is naturally acidic. When sugar combines with your oral bacteria, it sticks to teeth and causes enamel erosion. It’s okay to consume sugar every once in a while, however, continuously eating sugar, even in small amounts, causes demineralization.
Fruit, a usually healthy and nutritious treat, can also wreak havoc on enamel. Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, and grapefruits have a high acid content. When consumed, the acid binds to your teeth’s enamel and breaks it down. Fruit juices make this problem worse, especially ones with added sugar. Enjoy fruit and fruit juice in moderation. A healthier alternative to constantly consuming sugar is chewing sugar-free gum. Sugar-free gum contains xylitol and sorbitol, which are natural sugar alternatives that protect against erosion. Sugar-free gum also increases saliva production, which is good for dislodging food particles and neutralizing oral acidity. In addition to moderating your acidic fruit and sugar intake, you should increase your vitamin and calcium consumption. Your teeth naturally produce calcium, however, everyday wear and tear breaks it down.
There are a couple of ways to increase nutrient intake. A common way is eating vitamin and calcium-rich foods. Cheese is a popular food packed with calcium that combats tooth erosion caused by acidity. The same applies for eating foods with vitamin D. If you’re unable to get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet, try taking supplements. Although milk and other dairy products have calcium, they also contain lactose, which is a form of sugar. Therefore, excess amounts of dairy can further cause tooth erosion. You can either consume dairy in moderation, switch to lactose-free dairy milk, or drink plant-based alternatives like soy.
One of the best things you can do to improve oral health and prevent enamel demineralization is drink water. Water increases saliva, which neutralizes the acid in your mouth. Water also removes leftover particles from your mouth after you eat. Doing a simple water rinse is beneficial after a meal, especially when you can’t brush your teeth.
Demineralization will occur over time, even with proper oral care. Everything from acidic foods to dry mouth to trauma cause the enamel to break down. Utilizing these tips allow you to slow the process and repair some of the wear and tear caused by eating and bacteria buildup. To minimize respiratory and digestive tract infection and disease risks, speak with a doctor or your dentist in Richmond Hill for further assistance with tooth remineralization. For a quality dental experience, visit our dental clinic in Richmond Hill. We strive to protect and restore damaged teeth and keep your mouth healthy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or for further inquiries and services.