You are currently viewing Remineralizing Your Teeth: What is It and How to Do It

 Medically Reviewed by Dr. Charles Dennis, DMD, on April 8, 2024

The conversation around dental health has increasingly turned towards the role of tooth remineralization. This natural process is essential for keeping our teeth strong and healthy, as it counters the daily challenges our teeth face from diet and environment. But, how exactly does remineralization work, and more importantly, how can we work towards making sure it happens? In this blog, we’ll explain remineralization, explore its importance, and offer advice on how to encourage this process.

What is Tooth Remineralization?

Tooth remineralization is the natural process your body uses to repair your teeth. Every day, your teeth lose minerals like calcium and phosphate, especially when you eat or drink anything sugary or acidic. Remineralization is how your teeth fight back, grabbing these minerals from your saliva to strengthen and repair your enamel—the hard, protective outer layer of your teeth.

This process is necessary for keeping your teeth strong and healthy. It’s your body’s way of reversing early damage to your teeth, helping to prevent cavities before they start. To make sure remineralization works well, it’s important to take good care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and eating a balanced diet.

What is Demineralization and What Causes it?

Demineralization is the opposite of remineralization. It’s what happens when your teeth lose minerals faster than they can replace them. This usually happens because of eating and drinking sugary or acidic foods, which lowers the pH in your mouth and starts to dissolve the enamel on your teeth. It’s the first step towards tooth decay and cavities.

When your teeth start losing minerals, they become weaker and more prone to damage. That’s why it’s important to catch and stop this process early by cleaning your teeth regularly and eating right.

Signs Your Teeth Are Demineralizing

Noticing the early signs of demineralization is the first step to keeping your teeth healthy. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Sensitivity: If your teeth suddenly start feeling more sensitive than usual, especially to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks, it could be a sign that your enamel is getting weaker.
  • White Spots: Keep an eye out for white spots appearing on your teeth. These spots are often one of the first visible signs of demineralization. They indicate that minerals have been lost and your enamel is starting to wear away.
  • Rough Edges: If the edges of your teeth start to feel rough or jagged, it might be because the enamel is thinning. Healthy enamel should feel smooth.
  • Dullness: Teeth that are losing minerals can also lose their shiny, healthy glow. If your teeth look dull or more matte than usual, it could be a sign of trouble.
  • Cavities: While cavities are a more advanced sign of demineralization, catching them early is crucial. Any sign of tooth decay or small holes in your teeth should prompt a visit to the dentist.

If you notice any of these signs, don’t panic. The good news is that early demineralization can often be reversed with the right care.

7 Tips on How to Remineralize Your Teeth

​​To help remineralize your teeth, you can follow these tips:

1. Increase Fluoride Intake

Fluoride plays an important role in fighting tooth decay and in remineralizing enamel. It can be found in drinking water (in many areas), toothpaste, and certain mouth rinses. Fluoride treatments from a dentist are also effective.

2. Re-evaluate Your Diet

Sugars and acids from foods and drinks can demineralize enamel, leading to cavities. Limiting your intake of these can help keep your enamel strong. Consuming foods high in calcium and phosphorus, on the other hand, can help remineralize teeth. Cheese, milk, yogurt, nuts, and meats are good sources of these minerals.

3. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum (especially gum containing xylitol) can increase saliva production, which helps neutralize acid in the mouth and provide minerals to the teeth.

4. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent demineralization and support remineralization.

5. Use Remineralizing Products

There are kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinses available that are specifically formulated to help remineralize enamel. Look for products that contain calcium phosphate or nano-hydroxyapatite.

6. Consider Sealants

For some people, especially children and teenagers, dental sealants can provide a protective barrier against decay-causing bacteria on the chewing surfaces of back teeth.

7. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Professional cleanings and check-ups can help prevent problems before they start and allow for the early treatment of any demineralization.

how to remineralize your teeth with Abington Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry located in Clarks Summit, PA.

Signs Your Teeth Are Remineralizing

It’s not always easy to spot the signs of your teeth remineralizing, but there are a few indicators that your enamel is getting stronger and healthier:

  • Decreased Sensitivity: If your teeth no longer feel sensitive to temperature or sweetness, it means your enamel is building back up, providing better protection for your teeth.
  • Fading White Spots: Those white spots on your teeth, which indicate mineral loss, can start to fade or become less noticeable as your teeth remineralize. This is a sign that minerals are being redeposited into your enamel.
  • Smoother Edges: If the edges of your teeth feel rough or jagged due to enamel wear, a sign of remineralization is them becoming smoother. As your enamel strengthens, it fills in those rough spots.
  • A Brighter Smile: Teeth can look brighter and more vibrant as they remineralize. Healthy enamel has a natural shine, so improved tooth health might also mean a more sparkling smile.
  • Less Plaque Build-Up: Strong, healthy enamel is less likely to hold onto plaque and tartar. If you notice less build-up between dentist visits, it could be a sign your enamel is in better shape.

Remember, while these signs can indicate your teeth are on the mend, the best confirmation comes from your dentist. Regular check-ups can help track your progress and ensure your teeth are getting the minerals they need.

Local Dentist in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Keeping your teeth strong and protected against demineralization is a key part of oral health. As your local dentist in Clarks Summit, PA, Abington Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry is committed to helping you maintain that strength through preventive care and personalized dental strategies. Our team is ready to support your dental health journey with the latest in care and advice tailored to your needs. Contact us today to see how we can assist in strengthening your smile against demineralization and promote a healthier, brighter future for your teeth.

Conclusion

By using these tips, you’re taking important steps to make your teeth stronger and healthier. Keep an eye out for signs like less sensitivity and smoother teeth as proof that what you’re doing is working. Making these practices a regular part of our dental care can lead to lasting health for your teeth.

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