Your teeth require various minerals to maintain their strength. The tooth enamel needs calcium and phosphate to maintain a certain density and inadequate amounts of these minerals increase the risk of cavities.
As you age, your teeth naturally begin to lose minerals. This decay is accelerated by eating a poor diet that contains lots of sugary foods.
Tooth decay and enamel loss can also be accelerated by poor dental hygiene that causes bacteria to build up on the enamel. After years of inadequate mineral intake, your teeth can become permanently decayed and may need completely replacing.
Luckily, by taking the right preventative and maintenance steps, you can keep your teeth as healthy as possible. There are lots of things you can do to remineralize your teeth, even after tooth decay has begun.
Before we get into some top tips on how you can stop demineralization in your teeth, let’s run through the main things that cause this process to occur.
What Causes Tooth Demineralization?
Over time, the enamel coating on the teeth can start to wear away. This is caused by a number of different things, including:
Eating acidic foods
Inadequate intake of minerals in the diet
Not brushing your teeth regularly
When lots of bacteria build up on your teeth, they can attack the strong enamel coating and cause demineralization. As a result, you can get cavities in your teeth and you may also get small white spots caused by the loss of minerals.
What Can You Do to Remineralize Your Teeth?
The question of ‘how long does it take to remineralize teeth?’ depends on the extent of the demineralization. If only a small amount of minerals has been lost, you can quickly regain these minerals and restore your tooth enamel back to its original state.
However, if the enamel is severely demineralized, this process may take much longer. But don’t worry, you can still take lots of steps to improve the health of your teeth and prevent decay.
Follow these top tips below to increase the mineralization of your teeth.
Brush Your Teeth
Something that you’re probably already doing at least twice a day as brushing your teeth. If you’re not brushing your teeth at least twice every day, now is the time to start!
Brushing can remove built-up bacteria that had the potential to attack the enamel on your teeth. If you don’t get rid of these bacteria, you’re at risk of developing teeth cavities, which are holes in your teeth.
Take Dental Probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for the body. You can get probiotic bacteria in fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso. You can also get them through supplements.
In particular, the best bacteria to search for in your probiotics are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. These species of bacteria have been shown to improve the microbiome in your mouth, which can prevent demineralization.
Take your oral probiotic supplements or eat at least one probiotic food every day to maintain a healthy and well-balanced oral microbiome.
Drink More Water
Being dehydrated and having a dry mouth can cause demineralization to occur at a faster rate. If you don’t drink enough water, it means that bacteria are not being washed away from the enamel on your teeth.
Dry mouth also means reduced saliva. There are important enzymes and molecules in saliva that protect the teeth and prevent demineralization. Saliva neutralizes harmful acids and restores your tooth mineral levels.
Make sure you are drinking at least eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. If you exercise or live in a hot country, you might need to drink more than this. It’s especially important to drink more water if you eat a diet that is high in sugary foods or acidic foods.
Eat More Minerals
One of the best ways to get more minerals into your body is to eat them in your diet. Focus on consuming foods that are high in calcium and phosphorous, in particular, as these are the most important for your teeth.
High-calcium foods include dairy products, green leafy vegetables, legumes, and beans. High-phosphorous foods are poultry, dairy, nuts, and seeds.
You may also want to take a vitamin D supplement to increase your dietary calcium absorption. Your doctor or a dietitian will be able to help you find the right dosage for your needs.