Did you know your tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in the body? Tooth enamel, composed mostly of minerals like calcium and phosphate, is the hard, exterior layer of the teeth that protect the inner layers from cavities and decay. Although your tooth enamel is even stronger than bone, it can still begin to demineralize when exposed to too much acidity and harmful bacteria.
Demineralization means your enamel slowly starts to erode because it loses the composition of protective minerals. Once this occurs, you’re at risk for cavities and tooth decay, and once the enamel is gone completely—you can’t get it back. Fortunately, scientists have found that it is possible to remineralize your enamel before it’s too late.
What does remineralization mean?
The term “remineralization” simply refers to replenishing the concentration of minerals that make up your tooth enamel. Since calcium and phosphate are the main components of tooth enamel, you’ll want to make sure you concentrate on getting those minerals into your body. However, there are other factors that affect your enamel’s ability to remineralize, as well. These include your dietary and oral hygiene habits.
Watch What You Eat
As with all things physiological, your dietary habits have a huge impact on your health. When it comes to protecting and remineralizing your tooth enamel, that means limiting sugars and starches, drinking more water, and getting the right vitamins and minerals.
Sugar and starches become acidic when ingested, which means they make your mouth acidic as well. An acidic mouth becomes a safe haven for harmful bacteria to fester and grow. Once harmful bacteria take over, plaque builds up and then eats away at your enamel. By limiting your sugar and starch intake, your saliva can rebalance your mouth’s pH levels, which then gives your enamel a chance to regenerate.
Drinking water protects your enamel in a couple of different ways. First, it washes out residue from foods and sugary drinks that may get stuck in your teeth. This waste can generate bacteria that then erode your enamel. Second, it balances out your mouth’s pH’s levels by activating the salivary glands—the more saliva your mouth has, the better it can regulate its pH levels.
Another aspect of your diet that contributes to enamel remineralization is the vitamins and minerals you consume. High concentrations of calcium and phosphate are found in dairy products (preferably those with less sugar, like cheese and lactose-free milk) and leafy greens.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Sugar-free gum removes sugars, carbs, and plaque that accumulates throughout the day from your teeth. Furthermore, chewing gum helps your mouth produce more saliva, which you now know contributes to a balanced oral pH level. We recommend chewing gum sweetened with xylitol because xylitol can help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation in the gums.
Balance Your pH with an Alkaline Mouthwash
As mentioned above, your saliva plays an important role in remineralization and oral health. We recommend using an alkaline mouthwash like Alka-White to help you consistently keep your pH above 7. An alkaline mouth is a healthy mouth!