We’re sure you hear all the time that the body is miraculous. Did you know, for example, that the liver can regenerate? It can regenerate so effectively, in fact, that it can be split in half and transplanted into two different recipients!
Another fascinating process in the body is the natural remineralization of the teeth. Tooth remineralization is a reparative process, which occurs naturally inside the mouth. This process repairs the lost enamel (the outermost part of the tooth) and helps prevent cavities.
While the mouth takes care of remineralization on its own, many products on the market promise to help the process along and make your teeth even whiter and stronger. If you have ever wanted to ask Dr. Marchbanks about the remineralization or the legitimacy of these products, we’ll walk you through tooth remineralization 101 right here and now.
What is natural tooth remineralization?
Tooth remineralization is the natural repair process for non-cavitated tooth lesions—in other words, damage to the teeth that does NOT come from cavity decay. In these tiny, daily dental repair process, calcium, phosphate and sometimes fluoride ions are deposited into crystal voids in your demineralized enamel.
Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?
Remineralization can contribute to restoring strength and function within the tooth structure. As you can imagine, it’s the opposite of demineralization that removes minerals from the teeth and can result in cavities, tooth decay and enamel erosion.
Remineralization occurs on a daily basis after routine attacks by acids from food. It’s your continuous circulation of saliva that prevents the accumulation of the debris and washes away acid-producing bacteria.
Products for dental remineralization
While the mouth is the best at running its own remineralization process, there are many products on the market that boast the ability to boost the natural process and strengthen tooth enamel. Specifically, toothpaste is one product that commonly highlights how it can help prevent tooth decay from even occurring.
The most effective toothpastes contain ingredients like: stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride or calcium phosphate. While this toothpaste can’t replace lost enamel, they do have the ability to strengthen and protect teeth to a degree. Remineralizing toothpastes can also help prevent additional tooth decay from occurring, especially when they’re combined with proactive oral care habits (hehem, like brushing and flossing after meals). When looking for a toothpaste, remember to seek out the ADA Seal of Approval.
Some oral care companies also offer remineralization kits that contain a combination of mouthwashes, liquid enamels and toothpastes. While these companies sometimes emphasize they are “all natural,” it’s important to talk to your dentist before applying any product directly to the teeth.
While it could seem easy to buy specifically-designed products for healthy tooth remineralization, the truth is that some of the best ways to promote this process is through a healthy diet. Specifically, consume foods containing calcium, Vitamin K2 (which can be found in cod liver oil, egg yolks, chicken liver, and ground beef) and magnesium (which includes favorites like avocado and leafy greens). Before spending lots of money on novel products, you can look in your kitchen cabinet!