We have a lot of food items and drinks throughout the day. Our mouth and teeth are also exposed to different bacteria, making the teeth subject to demineralization. The process to remineralize teeth occurs naturally, and as the name suggests, the procedure restores essential minerals in the teeth.
Demineralization can also happen with age; with time, deteriorated oral hygiene, medical conditions, and food habits can expose your teeth roots by damaging the enamel. By promoting remineralization, you can stop the decay of your teeth caused by demineralization.
So, what is remineralization? How is it done? Let’s find out some other essential details.
What Is Remineralization?
Your mouth or oral cavity has some microorganisms that metabolize sugar to release harmful acids. These acids cause the loss of calcium and phosphorous ions from the teeth. This is called demineralization. Further, demineralization is the primary cause of cavities and tooth decay.
When demineralization happens, your body naturally tries to cope with this decay through the process of remineralization. It is the natural repair process of your body.
Remineralization boosts the production of minerals essential for your teeth. These minerals again form a compound called hydroxyapatite, essential for the formation and strength of your teeth.
Through proper diet and oral hygiene practices, we need to boost remineralization. If demineralization of your teeth is higher than remineralization, your teeth will have cavities that only dentists can fix.
Why Do You Need to Remineralize Teeth?
We need to remineralize teeth when the natural demineralization process is higher than the natural remineralization process. Some factors can expedite or increase natural demineralization in your mouth.
Bacteria Buildup Promotes Demineralization
The bacteria in our mouth create a thin layer on our teeth, and this layer is called plaque. If we eat sugary or starchy food, we help these bacteria to grow faster. At the same time, these bacteria metabolize sugar to release acid that causes demineralization of the teeth.
You need to cut down on your sugary intake and brush your teeth regularly to get rid of the plaque on your teeth.
Formation Of Excessive Mouth Acid Can Demineralize Teeth
If you eat acidic food (including fruits) and drink acidic drinks, the acid percentage in your mouth will shoot up. Acid causes the loss of minerals in the teeth and, eventually, tooth decay.
Food rich in sugar can also be called demineralization, as some microorganisms in our mouth can metabolize sugar to release acid.
Along with dietary reasons, medical conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease, snoring, bulimia, and mouth breathing can lead to excessive acid formation in the mouth.
Mouth Dryness Causes Demineralization
Saliva is the natural mouthwash that neutralizes acid. It also helps maintain proper health of your teeth enamel thanks to its mineral ions.
If your mouth does not produce enough saliva, your teeth will be subject to faster demineralization and decay. Too much tea consumption or drinking less water can decrease saliva production in your mouth. In addition, certain medical conditions can lead to a reduction in saliva production.
Role Of Various Elements To Remineralize Teeth
Two elements play crucial roles in remineralizing your teeth. Saliva and fluoride are essential to promote adequate or faster remineralization.
Along with reducing acid levels in your mouth and supplying phosphate and calcium ions, saliva circulation in the mouth also helps in the removal of plaque on the teeth.
Fluoride helps in the removal of calcium from the teeth for the strengthening of hydroxyapatite, the main building block of teeth.
How To Remineralize Teeth?
There are multiple ways to remineralize your teeth. Some measures mention dietary changes, many methods focus on maintaining oral hygiene, and the rest ask you to meet micronutrient requirements.
Use Toothpaste To Remineralize Teeth
You can use toothpaste rich in fluoride to remineralize your teeth. The American Dental Association only gives approval to toothpastes that have fluorides.
Fluoride in the toothpaste prevents demineralization and tooth decay caused by calcium accumulation. It also makes teeth stronger so that those remain protected from demineralization in the future.
Taking probiotics is an effective measure for remineralizing teeth. However, some probiotic strains are naturally found in our oral cavity. So, whenever you pick any probiotic supplement, ensure it is one of those similar strains. Using friendly strains ensures that the good bacteria in your mouth remain and only the harmful ones are removed.
Salivarius and Rheuteri are widely used probiotics for maintaining good oral hygiene.
Take Vitamin Supplements
Vitamins D3, A, and K2 are the most essential vitamins for remineralization. You can take multivitamin supplements or include food items rich in these items in your diet.
You can have tuna, salmon, swordfish, or cod liver oil for vitamin D3 intake. Tomatoes, milk, and eggs can supply vitamin A to your body. In this context, I want to mention that milk is an effective fluid for the preservation of teeth enamel.
Spinach, kale, and broccoli are some of the food items enriched with the goodness of vitamin K2.
Drink Plenty Of Water
You need to drink a lot of water if you want to boost remineralization. Being dehydrated badly impacts the production of saliva in your mouth. Now, as I mentioned earlier, saliva is the natural mouthwash. Without it, you cannot maintain acid balance in your mouth, boost remineralization, and remove harmful bacteria. So, drink adequate water in a day.
You can make some dietary changes to boost saliva production, including broccoli, carrots, cauliflowers, apples, and pears, into your daily diet. You can even chew or suck sugarless candies to promote salivation in your mouth.
Drinking water helps remineralization in another way. If you combine water with fluoride or rinse your mouth with the same water, the main composite bond of your teeth will be stronger.
Reduce consumption of Starchy Food
Consuming simple carbohydrates on a regular basis increases the chance of demineralization. Rice, bread, and potatoes are the most widely consumed food items to have simple starch. When you consume these food items, there is increased fermentation in your mouth.
Fermentation of sucrose and other simple carbohydrates causes hydroxyapatite decay, which is the main mineral composition in your teeth. The acids derived due to fermentation promote the loss of minerals.
Again, the bacteria community or plaque on your teeth survives on these simple carbohydrates. The bacteria again cause demineralization and dental cavities.
Be Moderate In Consumption Of Fruits And Fruit Juices
Maintaining the right balance of acid in your mouth is very important if you want good health for your teeth. Fruits and fruit juices are packed with vitamins and acids, which are otherwise very good for your health.
However, if you don’t control the amount of fruits (especially fruits like oranges, limes, and grapes) you have, the acids in those will cause the decay of your teeth enamel.
Fruit juices affect the minerals in your teeth in the same way. Moreover, sometimes fruit juices come with added sugar that is very harmful to your teeth.
Reduce Sugar Intake
Excessive sugar can cause demineralization because of its interactions with the bacteria in your mouth. Further, acids are produced when these bacteria interact with sugar, causing demineralization.
Again, having sugar or sugary food on a regular basis is more harmful to the health of your teeth, even when done in moderation.
So, if you need vitamin gummies or gummies to promote salivation, always choose the sugarless variety.
Xylitol helps remineralization of teeth with fluoride. Xylitol works as a shield against cavity formation and demineralization.
Many food items like lettuce and berries contain xylitol. You can also take xylitol gummies to stop demineralization.
Brush Your Teeth
Streptococcus mutans bacteria transmitted through food and drinks are primarily responsible for cavities in the teeth.
So, if you don’t brush your teeth properly at least twice a day, there will be bacterial buildup or plaque on your teeth. The bacteria in the teeth also cause extensive mineral loss. So, keeping your teeth and mouth clean is of utmost importance.
Know The Reason Of Dry Mouth And Improve Salivation
The inadequacy of saliva in your mouth can happen for many reasons. The reason can be reduced consumption of water, having sage tea, grapes, or other food items that decrease saliva production, or certain medical conditions. However, irrespective of the reason, having less saliva in your mouth will cause demineralization.
So, if you feel dryness in your mouth, you must immediately consult your doctor. This dryness can be reversed with a change in the diet plan, change of medicines, or treatments for your specific health concern.
Whatever method you follow to promote remineralization, you have to keep in mind that your teeth need calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium in the right amount to be strong, healthy, and smooth-looking. Some other essential nutrients like vitamin A, K2, and D3 naturally facilitate remineralization.
However, an excessive accumulation of calcium in your teeth can be harmful. The layers of calcium on your teeth can attract harmful bacteria and call for teeth and gum diseases. You can easily avoid this condition by using toothpaste with fluoride.
How Long Does It Take To Remineralize Teeth?
If you want to naturally remineralize teeth, you must change your daily and oral diet. A change in diet will promote adequate saliva production and reduce acid reflux. Thus, with a change in the diet, you can promote teeth remineralization.
Provided you take care of oral hygiene and follow a “remineralize teeth diet,” your teeth will be remineralized within three to four months.
However, suppose the demineralization or decay of your teeth is very severe, and the enamel of your teeth is completely damaged. In that case, you will need to visit a dentist to fix the enamel.
How To Be Sure Of Tooth Remineralization?
The sensitivity of teeth is one of the major symptoms of tooth demineralization. So, when your teeth are remineralized, you will feel lesser sensitivity.
The white spots on your teeth will be gone, or they will be less in number with remineralized teeth. Overall, your teeth will become smoother and flaunt a healthier appearance.
Demineralization is very common in teeth, considering the diverse types of food items we have every day and the usual bacterial buildups. However, excessive demineralizing can cause severe decay and even tear your teeth down.
Remineralizing teeth is essential to reverse tooth damage caused by demineralizing. Avoiding acidic drinks, having food that promotes remineralization, and using remineralizing toothpaste can greatly help restore the condition of your teeth.
Probiotic and vitamin supplements (vitamins K2, A, and D3) also help in restoring the minerals in your teeth.
So, be careful about what you eat and drink and your daily oral care routine.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Xylitol Remineralize Teeth?
Yes, xylitol remineralizes teeth when you use it in combination with fluoride. Further, xylitol protects the enamel in your teeth and reduces cavity production.
Xylitol is naturally found in many foods that remineralize teeth. It is present in lettuce, different berries, mushrooms, and corn.
Do Teeth Remineralize At Night?
Yes, teeth remineralize at night. When you use remineralizing toothpaste, it releases phosphorous, calcium, and fluoride.
These minerals take hours to cause remineralization and keep working even at night.
Does Water Cause Tooth Remineralization?
If you have access to fluoride tap water, you can drink it or use it to wash your mouth for better dental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that Americans have been enjoying better dental health due to water consumption with added fluorites. However, the World Health Organization
The fluoride in the water will help remove the calcium buildup on the teeth. If not removed on time, calcium buildup can promote tooth decay. At the same time, rinsing the mouth with water also promotes acid removal from the teeth.
So, it is always great to rinse your mouth with fluoride water after you have any acidic food or drink.
Does Milk Remineralize Teeth?
Yes, milk is effective in remineralization of teeth. The casein protein in milk promotes remineralization. Thus, it protects the enamel in your teeth.