Posted on: 8 October 2018Share
If you're into looking after your oral health, you might have heard about demineralisation and remineralisation. If you haven't, here's what those terms mean:
- Demineralisation: Bacteria in your mouth dissolves tooth enamel minerals, including calcium phosphate. This weakens your teeth.
- Remineralisation: Your saliva contains small amounts of calcium and other key minerals. It helps replace the minerals that are lost, a process called remineralisation.
Demineralisation and remineralisation should roughly balance out to keep your teeth strong, but modern diets have somewhat messed with that equilibrium. Unfortunately, excessive demineralisation makes your teeth more vulnerable to anything from decay to sensitivity.
With that in mind, here are just five steps you can take to avoid excessive demineralisation.
1. Use the Right Toothpaste
Any kind of fluoride toothpaste is going to help prevent demineralisation. However, anyone prone to decay should ask their dentist to recommend a toothpaste specially designed to combat demineralisation. These will contain naturally occurring minerals to give the remineralisation process a boost and keep your teeth strong.
2. Cut Down on Sugar
If there's one major lifestyle change you should make to prevent excessive demineralisation, it's cutting down on sugar. In fact, an increased consumption of sugar is one of the main reasons demineralisation now occurs so fast. When bacteria in your mouth are exposed to sugar, it thrives and is better able to attack those precious minerals in your tooth enamel.
3. Chew More Gum
As stated above, natural remineralisation occurs thanks to the minerals found in your saliva. If you increase saliva production, you can help slow down the demineralisation process considerably, especially if you suffer from dry mouth. One of the best ways to do that is by chewing gum – this increases saliva production, so try it when you've just finished a meal or feel like your mouth is dry. Just make sure it's sugar-free gum!
4. Get Plenty of Calcium
If you don't get enough calcium in your diet, it's possible calcium will be leached from your tooth enamel to be sent elsewhere in the body. Check how much calcium you're getting each day – if you're falling below recommended guidelines, consider taking a supplement.
5. Moderate Fruit Juice Consumption
Fruit juice is fine in moderation – you simply have to watch how much you drink because it's so acidic. Those acids bind to the calcium in your teeth and help strip it away; they also often contain added sugars.\
Reach out to a dentist for more information.