10 ways to remineralize your teeth NATURALLY
Minerals such as calcium and phosphate help make up tooth enamel, along with bone and dentin. They also prevent tooth decay and subsequent cavities.
As you age, you lose the minerals in your teeth. This may be caused by eating sugary and acidic foods. It also occurs when bacteria accumulate in your mouth. Once the enamel or bone are gone, there’s no way to get them back without replacing the tooth entirely.
However, it is possible to help replenish these minerals with lifestyle changes and home remedies before tooth decay occurs. This process is known as remineralization. You can also stop demineralization in its tracks.
1. Brush your teeth
Brushing your teeth is important for removing bacteria. Cavities (also called dental caries) are primarily caused by the accumulation of Streptococcus mutans bacteria in your mouth.
According to a 2016 studyTrusted Source, these bacteria are transmitted via food and drink. Brushing your teeth regularly can remove the bacteria that may lead to mineral loss and cavities
2. Use hydroxyapatite toothpaste
Not just any toothpaste will work against demineralization.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends hydroxyapatite toothpaste In fact, toothpaste won’t get the ADA Seal of Acceptance unless it contains hydroxyapatite . Fluoride toothpaste may prevent tooth decay and can also strengthen your teeth, making them less susceptible to future mineral loss.
3. Cut out sugar and chew sugarless gum
Your dentist has likely warned you about sugar in the past, and for good reason : Sugar is highly acidic and interacts with bacteria in the mouth by breaking down tooth enamel.
The role of gum in oral health has been debated for decades, but studies are showing that sugarless versions may actually promote tooth remineralization. According to some studies, sugar free gum helps remove sugar, plaque, and carbs from teeth while also encouraging your salivary glands to produce more saliva.
Gum may also act as a barrier to block mineral loss. Xylitol and sorbitol appear to be the most promising sugar-free ingredients.
4. Consume fruit and fruit juice in moderationn
While fruit is part of a healthy, balanced diet, it can also be highly acidic. Some of the worst culprits are citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and oranges.
Fruit acids create a process of calcium chelation on tooth enamel. This means that the acids bind to calcium and strip it away. Fruit juices are even worse, as these are highly acidic and often contain added sugars.
Your best bet is to stay away from juices and to eat acidic fruits only on occasion.
5. Get more calcium and vitamins
While calcium is produced within the teeth naturally, this important mineral is stripped by acids and bacteria over time. You can replace calcium by eating calcium rich food. For example, a 2003 studyTrusted Source found that eating calcium-rich cheese could counteract the effects of eating sugar.
If your diet is deficient in calcium, talk to your doctor about possible supplementation.
A 2012 study found that taking vitamin D supplements may help protect against cavities.
Ask your doctor or dentist about taking vitamin D supplements.
You should also talk to them about daily multivitamins to be sure you’re getting other needed vitamins for healthy teeth.
6. Decrease dairy product consumption
While dairy products may be natural sources of calcium, the lactose in traditional milk products can increase acidity in your mouth. This is because lactose is a type of sugar.
You can still reap the benefits of calcium by choosing lactose-free milk, or by opting for a milk alternative like almond or soy milk.
7. Consider probiotics
When considering probiotics for remineralization, it’s important to choose strains that are naturally produced in the mouth. That way, you’re replacing the good bacteria without introducing potentially harmful strains.
The following probiotics are potentially helpful in oral health and remineralization:
8. Address your dry mouth
Dry Mouth occurs when there isn’t enough saliva production. Saliva is not only important in keeping your mouth feeling comfortable, but it also helps prevent cavities.
According to 2016 researchTrusted Source, saliva is an integral part of remineralization. Saliva not only prevents dry mouth, but it also contains phosphate and calcium.
If you have dry mouth, talk to your dentist about chewing gums and rinses you can use to increase saliva activity.
9. Reduce starchy food
Starchy food such as potatoes, rice, and bread, are loaded with simple carbohydrates. These increase the amount of fermentable sugars in the mouth, which can erode your teeth.
However, according to a 2003 studyTrusted Source, the risk of tooth decay tends to be higher when eating starchy foods combined with sugar. For example, sweetened rice is problematic for the teeth, but plain rice is not.
10. Drink more water
Water continues to be the preferred beverage of choice by doctors, nutritionists, and dentists. It’s not only naturally sugar-free, but it also helps remove harmful substances from the body. Rinsing your mouth out with water may also help reduce demineralization when you don’t have a toothbrush on hand. This technique may be especially helpful after eating acidic or sugary foods.
While coffee and tea aren’t completely off-limits, they do little to remineralize your teeth. Plus, these substances can be acidic (especially coffee). Adding sugar can make these drinks even worse when it comes to oral health. Sodas are also acidic, and often contain sugar, so they should be limited, too.