The health of your tooth enamel plays a major role in the look and feel of your smile. You want to do everything you can to ensure that this crucial part of the tooth remains healthy. However, many people have a difficult time with something known as demineralization. This process can make it painful for you to eat and drink, and it makes it more likely that you will develop cavities in the future.
If you want to know more about how your teeth get demineralized and how to correct the problem, this guide can answer all of your questions.
How Are Teeth Demineralized?
Do you have chalky white spots on your teeth and can’t figure out what happened? These white spots typically appear when your teeth are demineralizing. It is a symptom that you are losing essential minerals from your tooth enamel, just beneath the surface of the tooth. Many people find that they also have more pain from hot and cold foods or pressure when their teeth are displaying demineralization.
Most of the time, demineralization is caused by exposing the tooth to strong acids like those found in citrus fruits. You may be consuming a balanced diet, but even small amounts of these acids can contribute to this condition. Acids could also be caused by certain bacteria in the mouth or exposure to too much sugar.
Unfortunately, demineralization can lead to more serious problems than just increased sensitivity. When too many minerals are lost, cavities are more likely to form.
Fortunately, there is a solution to these demineralized teeth. Your dentist can help you to get on the right track with remineralization strategies to alleviate some of your symptoms and prevent future damage. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways you can remineralize your teeth.
How a Dentist Can Help
If you are noticing some spots that could be demineralized on your teeth, you will want to consult your dentist. He or she can put you on the right track to remineralize your teeth and restore your smile. This is an issue that you want to take care of sooner rather than later because it can cause long-term issues for your smile.
Fluoride and Hydroxyapatite Treatments
It’s no secret that good oral hygiene plays an important role in your health. Visiting the dentist regularly allows him or her the opportunity to apply fluoride and hydroxyapatite treatments to your teeth. Hydroxyapatite is the naturally-occurring form of calcium that primarily makes up your tooth enamel. Your dentist may be able to recommend a specific treatment or a toothpaste with a bioavailable version of hydroxyapatite.
Meanwhile, fluoride is also extremely important to the health of your smile. By applying a foaming gel treatment of fluoride to your teeth, this is a quick and efficient way to remineralize your teeth.
Dry Mouth Rinses
Do you have dry mouth throughout the day? This might be an area that you can address with your dentist to help remineralize your teeth. Saliva plays a key role in restoring important minerals in your teeth. It contains both calcium and phosphate which can serve to strengthen the outside layer of your tooth. If your saliva production is low, you need to talk with your dentist about special rinses that might be able to promote the production of saliva in your mouth.
If you want to take every step possible to remineralize your teeth, then you might want to start with a few basic things you can do at home. While a trip to the dentist can help you identify the issue and get you started, doing these things simultaneously can make a more dramatic improvement in your smile.
Good Oral Hygiene
Remineralizing your teeth at home can be as simple as paying more attention to good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth and strengthens the enamel of the teeth. You should be brushing twice daily for two minutes at a time, as well as flossing to clear out stubborn bacteria that hide out between teeth. Also, you should remember to keep up with your routine dentist’s appointments.
Chewing Sugar-Free Gum
In addition to good oral hygiene, chewing sugarless gum can also help keep your teeth in perfect condition. According to studies, sugar-free gum removes the sugar and plaque from your teeth while increasing the amount of saliva in your mouth. Chewing gum after you finish a meal (particularly if you are not planning to brush directly after) can minimize the demineralizing effects of any acids you may have consumed.
Another way to remineralize your teeth is to increase your calcium intake. Calcium is a natural part of your tooth enamel but it can get worn down by acids over time. You might consider eating more foods that contain a high amount of calcium or take a supplement to restore balance to this part of your body. However, dairy products should be avoided due to their high sugar content. Look for dairy-free products that are high in calcium like almond milk instead.
Drink More Water
Last but not least, preventing demineralization could be as easy as drinking a glass of water. Particularly if you do not have a chance to brush after eating acidic foods, a quick rinse with water can help to rid your teeth of the acid or sugar. While it may not do much to remineralize your teeth, it can slow down the process of demineralization. Sodas, coffees, and teas should be avoided, particularly if they are loaded with sugar.
Remineralizing Your Teeth
A demineralized tooth might stand out like a sore thumb in your smile. For other people, it may just be an uncomfortable, nagging pain when they consume hot or cold foods. Regardless of how your demineralization manifests itself, adding those essential minerals back in is important to prevent cavities from developing. Fortunately, there are lots of tips and tricks that you can do with or without the help of your dentist to restore some balance to your smile!
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