What is tooth remineralisation?
Remineralisation is a naturally occurring process which helps to restore beneficial minerals to the enamel layer (outermost layer) of a tooth. Under the right conditions, this process helps to keep teeth healthy and can repair enamel before cavities can form.
When we have an unbalanced diet, we impede the remineralisation process. Bacteria feed off the sugars in the food we eat and release acid. This damages the tooth enamel through the loss of minerals, otherwise known as demineralisation. As we continue to frequently consume sugars, decay accelerates, and the pH of our mouth becomes out of balance.
The cause of tooth cavities can be largely attributed to demineralisation.
Key Role of Saliva
When the pH in our mouths become acidic, our saliva works hard to neutralise these acids. A healthy supply of saliva can also wash away bacteria and food debris. But saliva doesn’t stop there! Saliva carries calcium and phosphate ions which under the right conditions can be absorbed by the teeth. For this reason, saliva is vital in the tooth remineralisation process.
It is only when saliva is overwhelmed with harmful bacteria where demineralisation occurs. As well, dry mouth can be extremely detrimental to your oral health as limited saliva production slows the remineralisation process.
If you have dry mouth, speak to your dentist today about possible solutions and preventative measures.
There are products available to further help remineralisation such as fluoride toothpaste. Tooth enamel is largely made from calcium and this can become lost through demineralisation. Fluoride toothpaste can help to replace this lost calcium and strengthen the enamel layer further.
At your 6-monthly check-up and clean at the dentist, they may also apply a strong topical fluoride solution to your teeth. Similarly, this topical solution helps to strengthen teeth and assist in remineralisation.
As we continue through our day our teeth are in an everchanging state of losing and gaining beneficial minerals. It is important we ensure our teeth gain more minerals than they lose.
The key to promoting remineralisation is to maintain a healthy oral environment. Below we have highlighted several ways you can aid remineralisation:
- Good oral hygiene: Brush teeth at least twice daily for a minimum of 2 minutes and floss daily to help remove build-up bacteria and plaque.
- Visit the dentist every 6 months: A professional dental check-up and clean is designed to detect oral concerns early. The dentist can also remove build-up tartar which cannot be removed by toothbrushing alone.
- Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride helps to build and strengthen tooth enamel, thereby making it more resilient to damage from acid
- A healthy diet: Limit foods containing sugars. Consume vitamin rich foods such as leafy greens, fish, eggs, cheese, and vegetables.
Book an Appointment
Are you due for your 6-monthly check-up and clean? Contact one of our friendly Coastal Dental Care practices today! We’re based in Northern NSW, the Gold Coast and Redland Bay.
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