If you're interested in oral wellness, you likely already have a solid grasp on the steps necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
But when it comes to remineralization, many people are unfamiliar with this term.
However, everyone should take the time to understand why remineralization is an important aspect of dental hygiene, especially for preventing cavities and whitening teeth.
In this article, we'll explain the importance of remineralization and how you can remineralize your teeth at home.
What is Remineralization?
Remineralizing your teeth means restoring the minerals needed to protect your enamel to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Enamel is the smooth white surface outside of the tooth. Tooth enamel is composed of minerals like calcium and phosphate, as well as dentin and bone. These minerals help prevent cavities and tooth decay, keeping your teeth strong.
Demineralization is the process of losing the minerals in tooth enamel, and can be caused by consuming acidic or sugary foods and accumulating bacteria inside your mouth.
When the minerals are lost, the enamel weakens, affecting your tooth — possibly all the way down to the bone. Once the bone and enamel structures are compromised, tooth decay damage cannot be reversed.
However, it is possible to stop the demineralization process, replenish important minerals, and strengthen your enamel by making certain changes before major damage occurs. This process is called remineralization.
Another benefit of remineralization is teeth whitening.
When demineralization happens, that precious enamel is compromised, leaving the dentin layer underneath susceptible to becoming exposed. Dentin is darker in color, meaning that conventional teeth whitening treatments are not likely to succeed in changing its color.
12 Ways to Remineralize Your Teeth
So, now you may be wondering how to remineralize your teeth to protect the enamel and preserve your pearly whites?
We got you covered with twelve effective ways for remineralizing your teeth:
1. Promote Healthy Saliva Production
Encourage saliva production and combat dry mouth by avoiding salty foods, chewing gum or sucking on hard candies (preferably sugar-free), drinking lots of water and avoiding mouthwashes containing drying alcohols, as they can exacerbate the issue.
Saliva plays an important role in protecting your teeth from demineralization, as it helps wash away bacteria and plaque deposits from your teeth. That’s why making sure you are producing enough saliva is important.
2. Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth removes the bacteria that erodes your enamel and helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. Keeping your toothbrush warm (by using it often) can help slow or stop the demineralization process and keep your enamel strong. Make sure you brush twice per day for at least two minutes each time!
3. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
The ADA recommends using fluoride toothpaste because fluoride is vital to protecting your teeth from plaque, cavities, and demineralization. Fluoride promotes remineralization by working with saliva to encourage healthy bacterial activity and restore a balanced PH in the mouth, protecting your teeth from acid attacks and enamel breakdown.
There is much to say about fluoride, given its crucial role in preventing dental erosion. However, if you are sensitive to fluoride or seek a natural, fluoride-free alternative that’s equally as effective at strengthening enamel and preventing cavities, consider exploring fluoride-free toothpaste.
4. Floss and Rinse
Although the structure of the tooth cannot be rebuilt by using floss and mouthwash, they can greatly aid in the remineralization process.
Floss works by helping get unwanted food particles out of the smaller places toothbrushes cannot reach. Removing this build-up is important in the process of remineralizing teeth enamel.
Likewise, mouthwash, also known as mouth rinse, does just that — it rinses your teeth of sugar and acids, and a good antiseptic wash will also help protect against future food and drink invaders.
5. Cut Back on Sweets
Sugary foods are one of the main culprits of plaque build-up, which can lead to the development of cavities and tooth decay. Some of the worst offenders are cake, soda, ice cream, candy, and dried fruits. It’s best to consume sugary foods and drinks in moderation, making sure to brush quickly afterward. This will help prevent mineral loss from harmful acids.
6. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing gum can't (and shouldn't) replace brushing your teeth. However, chewing sugar-free gum has been shown to help remove residue from teeth caused by sugary and starchy foods, which can help promote remineralization. For best results, chew just after eating or drinking sugary foods and drinks.
7. Get Enough Calcium
Teeth contain natural amounts of calcium, which can decrease over time from eating certain foods, specifically acidic ones. In order to replenish this important mineral, make sure your diet includes foods rich in calcium, such as dairy (see below), green leafy vegetables, and bread made with fortified flour. If necessary, introduce a calcium supplement to help support your oral health.
8. Limit Dairy
This may seem contrary to the last tip because dairy products are well-known for their calcium content, which is good for remineralization. However, products that are high in lactose are also higher in sugar, increasing acidity in your mouth, which is not good for your mineral content.
9. Limit Starches
Eating foods high in simple carbohydrates (rice, bread, potatoes, etc.) equates to sugar on your teeth, which can wear down enamel. If you are looking to remineralize your teeth and protect them from demineralization, it is best to limit these types of starchy foods.
10. Drink Water
Drinking water is especially important after eating foods that are high in starch, acid or sugar. While not as effective as brushing your teeth, swishing or drinking water can help wash away residual foods and drinks, helping protect your teeth from demineralization.
11. Limit Fruits and Juices
Eating fruit and juicing can provide you with essential vitamins and is very healthy for you. But because of their high acidity, it’s best to limit your intake of fruits, especially if you are concerned with demineralization. Eating citrus fruits in moderation is wise, as they are some of the highest in acidity. It’s also best to steer clear of juices with added sugars as much as possible.
12. Make a Mineral Paste
This home remedy sounds tricky, but mineral paste is a great option for helping you remineralize your teeth. You can make or purchase a mineral paste for your teeth. These pastes can restore the balance of minerals that your teeth need and improve fluoride absorption and saliva production.
A few ingredients you might find in a homemade mineral toothpaste are cleaned, powdered egg shells, baking soda, xylitol powder to aid with taste, and coconut oil.
Follow Your Oral Care Routine to Protect Your Enamel
If you’ve been concerned about the loss of essential minerals in your teeth, you should now have confidence in knowing that mineral loss is both normal and easily avoidable. Remineralization is achievable simply through a consistent daily oral care routine.
No need for expensive treatments or unnecessary gadgets — just use enamel-strengthening toothpaste and limit acidic and sugary foods in your diet.
At Twice, we prefer toothpaste with a safe amount of fluoride that doesn’t allow other unnecessary ingredients into the bunch. Twice fluoride toothpaste maintains a perfect balance by including all of the ingredients your toothpaste needs without any of the ones it doesn’t. And it tastes delightful, too, with our Invigorating Wintergreen Peppermint and Calming Vanilla Lavender Mint toothpaste flavors!
We also have a non-fluoride toothpaste with hydroxyapatite to remineralize enamel.
- Demineralization–remineralization dynamics in teeth and bone | NIH
- Saliva | Mouth Healthy
- How fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay | Mouth Healthy
- (How to) Make Your Own Toothpaste | News Medical
- How Sugar Causes Cavities and Destroys Your Teeth | Healthline
- Chewing Gum | ADA
- Calcium - Vitamins and minerals | NHS
- The Impact of Carbohydrate Quality on Dental Plaque pH | NIH
- 4 Reasons Water Is the Best Beverage for Your Teeth | Mouth Healthy