Did you know that tooth enamel not only contributes to the whiteness of one’s teeth but also serves as a shield to help protect the teeth? Without enamel, each tooth is left at risk for tooth sensitivity and early decay.
Canada Dental Network has bridged together the knowledge of general dentistry with the insights provided in this guideline to explain what tooth enamel is and how enamel loss can be prevented through a process called remineralization. Remineralization works to repair weakened enamel so that one can live with happy oral health.
Join us in this journey to better understand what tooth enamel is and how the process called remineralization can help strengthen tooth enamel.
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Tooth enamel is a visible thin outer covering located on top of every tooth’s crown. It is known as the hardest tissue in the human body and it contains a high percentage of minerals. The goal of tooth enamel is to protect the teeth from physical, thermal, and chemical forces that can cause problems. If teeth did not have enamel covering them, they would be left exposed and risk experiencing sensitive teeth.
How Can Enamel Loss Be Prevented?
As mentioned, tooth enamel contains a high level of minerals. But what you don’t know, is that these minerals help to keep the teeth strong. The process of “demineralization” is known as mineral loss in the enamel. Demineralization can happen from something as simple as eating and drinking throughout the day as the mouth is exposed to more bacteria. Mouth acid and not having enough saliva can also be factors for mineral loss.
The good news here is that enamel loss can be prevented through a process called remineralization. Remineralization is the process of taking calcium and phosphate minerals and depositing them back into the enamel to help strengthen what’s left. The minerals work together to provide the teeth with lost strength. Follow along with the tips below to learn how one can promote teeth remineralization.
Tips for Remineralizing Teeth & Strengthening Enamel
With a good dental hygiene routine and products like remineralizing toothpaste, one can be on their way to remineralized and strong teeth. Follow along with these tips below to see how easy it can be.
Increase Saliva Production With Sugar-Free Gum
To repair tooth enamel, one way to do this is through maximizing the amount of saliva produced. Saliva can help to promote tooth remineralization as it helps the pH level return to a natural state. One way to do this is by chewing sugar-free gum. Chewing sugar-free gum can help the mouth to produce more saliva which helps to protect the enamel on the teeth from acid wear.
One of the most effective ways of prevention here is through the use of topical fluoride. Experts on this topic actually state that fluorination of teeth is encouraged. Fluoride can be used in the form of toothpaste or varnish. Both of these methods assist in the remineralization of the enamel. Although, it is important to know that the overconsumption of fluoride may lead to dental and/or skeletal fluorosis. Be sure to consult with a dental professional regarding how often fluoride should be used.
Boost Water Intake
While nutritionists and doctors recommend drinking water, so do dentists. Did you know that tap water can help to replace lost calcium in enamel? Whether you decide to enjoy a glass of tap water or wish to rinse your mouth with this water after eating sugary or acidic foods, it will help to reduce demineralization from occurring. Instead of going for a soda, coffee, or tea, consider grabbing a glass of water to encourage restorative oral health.
Brush Teeth Twice a Day
When it comes to removing bacteria, the best way to do so is by getting into the routine of brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Brushing teeth can help to remove harmful bacteria that may lead to mineral loss and cavities. In addition, there are many other oral health benefits to brushing teeth. Some of these include preventing plaque and tartar build-up, lowering the risk for gum disease and oral cancers, etc.
Avoid Eating Sugary Foods Regularly
Did you know that eating sugary foods on a regular basis is more harmful than eating an occasional sugar-filled dessert? This is because sugar is known to be highly acidic and it can work to break down tooth enamel. Enamel breakdown can look like holes or cavities within the teeth. In most cases, a tooth that looks like this will have to be removed. If you are looking to protect your enamel, one way to do so is by cutting down your sugar intake and brushing your teeth after eating a sugary treat.
Limit Acidic Fruit and Juices
Citrus juices, such as grapefruit or orange juices may be fresh in flavour, but they come at a great risk for your teeth. Fruit acids in juices can create a process of calcium chelation on tooth enamel which works to strip away calcium. Although you think eating or drinking fruit is healthy, fruit can also have the same effect on your teeth. For this reason, it’s recommended to avoid citrus juices and fruits and instead, limit them to only having them on occasion. Trust us, your teeth will thank you for this.
Final Advice For Strengthen Tooth Enamel with Remineralization
Canada Dental Network wants to remind you that by understanding the importance of tooth enamel and embracing the process of remineralization, one can enjoy a smile that features stronger and happier teeth.
Through strategies like increasing saliva production with sugar-free gum, employing fluoride therapy, boosting water intake, maintaining disciplined brushing routine, limiting sugary food consumption and limiting acidic fruit and juices, one can begin practising a solid foundation for long-lasting and good oral health. If you wish to have your enamel checked, it’s best to visit a trusted dental office that can schedule you for a regular check-up.