Remineralising your teeth might sound like a complicated process but it’s very straightforward once you know more. In this article, we’ll explain what remineralisation is and when it might be needed answering questions such as can teeth remineralise and how do teeth remineralise.
What is teeth remineralisation and why is it important?
Tooth remineralisation is the action of beneficial minerals – such as calcium, fluoride, and phosphate, being incorporated into the hard outer layers of your teeth (the enamel). Natural tooth remineralisation happens on a daily basis thanks to the saliva in your mouth¹. Saliva is antibacterial and cleansing, and naturally adds fluoride, plus phosphate and calcium, to the surface of the teeth – thus promoting teeth remineralisation.
The minerals involved in this process are important for your teeth because they help strengthen them against cavities and decay. The hard enamel layer on your tooth helps to protect the more sensitive layers inside, like the pulp and the root canal. If the enamel decays because the mineral is lost from your enamel, these areas, and the blood vessels and nerves that keep teeth alive, can become exposed and infected. This can result in pain, swelling, the formation of a tooth abscess and even the loss of the tooth².
What are the causes of demineralisation of teeth?
If remineralisation is the restoration of minerals on the tooth, then that means there is also a process for losing these minerals in the first place – aka demineralisation of teeth.
Demineralisation occurs when your tooth enamel loses some of its minerals. This is often as a result of acid attack³. There are two sources of acid in the mouth³: The first is from the bacteria that live in oral plaque. Certain bacteria are able to take the sugar in food and drinks in our diet and make acid². The second source of acid comes directly from certain foods and drinks such fresh fruit, sodas, and vinegary salad dressings.
Once your tooth enamel is lost, it can’t be restored – but can teeth remineralise to address early signs of damage? Through the process of remineralisation, you can help strengthen your enamel and protect it before it gets to that stage¹.
Tips for how to remineralise teeth
Fortunately, tooth enamel is able to resist the process of demineralisation to a certain extent thanks to saliva³.
In addition to this natural tooth remineralisation, you can also take steps to help the process. Tips you can try to help your teeth remineralise are:
- Keep your mouth moist with saliva. You can increase saliva production by chewing sugar-free gum (look for xylitol in the ingredients list, as this can stimulate saliva that’s rich in minerals⁴).
- Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks².
- Rinse water around your mouth after eating or drinking acidic/sugary things and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Consume foods and drinks that are high in calcium, like milk, cheese, other dairy products, fish with bones (like pilchards and sardines) and green leafy vegetables.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste twice a day to aid the process of remineralisation¹ – the NR-5™ technology in Regenerate’s Advanced Toothpaste regenerates tooth enamel mineral and can help keep your teeth strong and healthy.
- Keep the areas between your teeth free from bacteria by flossing or using interdental brushes.
- Go for regular dental check-ups and hygienist appointments so that any cavities or areas of weak enamel can be treated.
- Speak with your dentist if you have any conditions or take any medications that cause dry mouth, or if you notice symptoms of mineral loss, such as changes in the shape of your teeth or white spots.
How long does the teeth remineralisation process take?
There is a constant battle between the demineralisation and remineralisation of teeth³, and so there is no definitive ‘end goal’ for the remineralisation of teeth. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help encourage remineralisation and reduce demineralisation. For example, reducing the consumption of sugary foods and drinks will help prevent acid attacks on the teeth that cause the demineralisation process.
Now you know about the importance of taking care of the minerals on your teeth you’re well on your way to keeping your enamel strong and healthy.
The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice; it is solely available for information purposes. We recommend that you consult your dentist If you are experiencing any dental problems.