Did you know your teeth can actually get weak over time? It’s all thanks to our age. When we are young, minerals such as calcium and phosphate, and bone and dentin, build up tooth enamel which guards against tooth decay and cavities.
But as we age, we lose those much-needed minerals. It can also stem from eating too many sugary and acidic foods, or when you allow bacteria to accumulate in your mouth. Sadly, once the enamel or bone have been worn away, you can’t get them back – unless you replace the whole tooth. That being said, there are ways you can replenish those minerals with a few lifestyle changes and home remedies before tooth decay sets in. This process is called remineralization. Take steps to heed these tips for healthy teeth and gums.
Here are some oral health tips on how to make your teeth stronger.
Dental Tips of the Day
1. Brush your teeth
There’s no way around it: you have to brush at least twice a day to remove bacteria. If not, cavities can occur, which are mainly caused by the accumulation of bacteria. Food and drink are the primary transmitters, so it stands to reason that brushing your teeth regularly will remove that harmful bacteria.
2. Use fluoride toothpaste
Not all toothpastes are created equal. You need one with fluoride in it. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the tube and you’ll know it has fluoride in it. This will prevent tooth decay and strengthen your teeth at the same time, lowering your risk of future mineral loss.
3. Nix the sugar
If you have a sweet tooth, this step will be really hard. Sugar, loves to mingle with bacteria in your mouth, and consequently will break down tooth enamel. Actually, studies show that a higher frequency in sugar consumption leads to demineralization more than the amount of sugar you are consuming. In a nutshell, it’s better to eat an occasional hot fudge sundae than small amounts of sweets on a daily basis.
4. Chew sugarless gum
Sugarless gum can actually promote tooth remineralization, as it helps remove plaque, sugar, and carbs from your teeth while at the same time encouraging the salivary glands to produce more saliva. On top of that, gum acts as a barrier to blocking mineral loss.
5. Consume fruits and fruit juices in moderation
Fruit is part of a balanced diet, of course, but too much of it isn’t good for you. It’s highly acidic and erodes the enamel on your teeth. Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and oranges, are the worst offenders. Fruit acids spur a process of calcium chelation on your tooth enamel, which allows acids to bind to calcium and then strip it all away. Fruit juices are no better because not only are they acidic, they contain added sugars as well.
6. Get more calcium and vitamins
Yes, calcium is produced within your teeth naturally, but this mineral can easily be stripped away by acids and bacteria over the years. Good news: it’s possible to replace calcium by eating calcium-rich foods such as cheese.
7. Decrease dairy product consumption
On the other side of the coin, while dairy products are natural sources of calcium, the lactose contained in milk products can boost the acidity in your mouth. Why? Lactose is a type of sugar. You may want to switch out your traditional milk for lactose-free versions or go with an alternative such as soy or almond milk – at least some of the time.
8. Try probiotics
If you’re looking to try probiotics for remineralization, you should choose strains that are naturally-occurring in the mouth so you can replace all the good bacteria without introducing harmful strains. Look for probiotics in pill form or within yogurt.
9. Avoid dry mouth
When you don’t have enough saliva production, dry mouth occurs. Turns out, you need saliva for your own comfort and to prevent cavities, plus it’s a critical part of remineralization. Saliva gets rid of your incessant dry mouth, but it pulls double duty because it contains phosphate and calcium. Your dentist can recommend special chewing gums and rinses that will help boost your saliva activity.
10. Drink more water
Doctors, nutritionists, and dentists all agree: water is the best beverage you can choose. Not only is it naturally sugar-free, it also purges harmful substances from your body. Simply rinsing out your mouth with water when you don’t have access to a toothbrush can reduce demineralization, too.
To cap it all off…
The bottom line is, mineral loss is inevitable due to all the elements your teeth are exposed to every day. Sure, your teeth were made to take on all that wear and tear, but even teeth have limits. Do your part to remineralize your teeth and put an end to demineralization. You can achieve this through regular dental visits, brushing and flossing daily, and making sure your teeth are straight and clean. The best way to straighten your teeth is with Invisalign clear aligners at Clear Smiles.
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