You may have heard the term “demineralization” at your last dental appointment. But what is it exactly, and how can you prevent it?
Demineralization of the teeth is the erosion or stripping away of enamel. Enamel is the glassy outer shell of the teeth. When enamel is damaged, the teeth are susceptible to decay (cavities). The good news is that it’s possible to re-mineralize the enamel of teeth, to help prevent further damage. We recommend the following guidelines to keep teeth healthy and re-mineralizing naturally.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. We know we say this a lot, but it can’t be overemphasized. Remember, brush teeth twice daily and floss daily.
- Make regular dental appointments for cleaning every six months.
- Eat a low-sugar diet. Teeth are susceptible to decay because acid and bacteria combine to create plaque. These acids and bacterias come from food, and carbohydrates and sugars are among the worst culprits. We know it’s hard, but be mindful of watching your sugar consumption whenever possible. Cutting back on sugar is good for every part of you, not just your teeth.
- Drink more water. Not only is water a sugar-free beverage, it’s also hydrating and will flush the body of unwanted toxins. It’s a natural rinse for the teeth that won’t stain or leave behind acids the way that coffee, tea, or juice would. Drinking sodas can contribute to enamel loss. They are acidic and sugary. Try to avoid sodas, if possible.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride helps to re-mineralize teeth and prevent enamel loss. It can also strengthen teeth to make them less susceptible to cavities and demineralization in the future.
- Chew gum. Studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum can work to clean teeth (this does not replace brushing or flossing). The process of chewing can remove sugars and acids from the teeth and encourage production of more saliva (the mouth’s natural rinse). For best results, chew gum after a meal.
If you’re concerned your teeth may be demineralizing, or have specific questions about how to help re-mineralize and prevent tooth loss, let us know at your next dental visit. Our team is here to guide you and help you keep your mouth healthy for a lifetime of smiles!