The health of our teeth and gums reflects the health of our entire body. Enamel erosion is the weakening of the outer tooth surface caused by acids in the mouth. To know how to strengthen teeth, you’ll first need to implement good oral hygiene practices that help you avoid dental issues, including enamel erosion. A good oral hygiene routine and daily flossing is a great way to keep teeth healthy, however this is just the start. True oral health begins with proper nutrition and diet. Here are tips for making your teeth strong.
Is it possible to strengthen my teeth?
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. Talk to your dentist about the following treatment measures to help remineralize your teeth and help stop demineralization. Demineralization and remineralization are interrelated and in constant flux.
How to Keep Your Teeth Whiter and Stronger
Many people want whiter teeth, but did you know that whiter teeth are a result of stronger, healthier enamel? This is because enamel—the outer protective layer of teeth—is what keeps teeth white. Here are some tips to help strengthen teeth and keep them white.
Brush Properly Twice a Day
Learning how to strengthen teeth starts with proper daily brushing. Dentists recommend brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to keep your teeth clean and strong.
A toothbrush removes germs and food particles from your teeth before they can contribute to enamel erosion. dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush that is placed at a 45-degree angle along the edge of the gumline. At this angle, you can gently sweep plaque and leftover food particles away from the enamel surface. Move in a back-and-forth motion across two to three teeth at a time.
dentists recommend that patients also use floss to remove food debris and plaque from in between teeth. Start with a strip of floss about 18 inches long. Wind the string around the middle fingers on each of your hands and pinch together with your thumbs. You’ll want to keep 1 to 2 inches of floss between both of your hands. Then, you can gently guide the floss into each crevice in between the touching teeth. After you guide the floss into the space, gently use a C-shaped motion to wipe against the enamel surface.
Various flossing devices, including interproximal brushes and interdental aids, are also available for those who struggle to hold and maneuver string floss.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste and Mouthrinse
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many water sources. It’s often added to city water supplies and used in oral care products, too. Fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses are effective in strengthening teeth and preventing dental decay. make sure your toothpaste is fluoridated. After you wake up in the morning and immediately before you go to bed are the best times to brush and apply fluoride.
Vitamins and Minerals That Help Strengthen Teeth
A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can naturally strengthen tooth enamel. It can also protect your teeth against foods and drinks that cause acid erosion. Below are some vitamins and minerals that support strong enamel and the healthy foods where you can find them.
Vitamin A is a key nutrient in keeping your gums healthy as well as building tooth enamel. Most foods with vitamin A are orange—making it easy to remember that sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, and carrots are all vitamin A powerhouses.
Phosphorus plays a critical role in dental health because it naturally protects and rebuilds tooth enamel. The best sources of phosphorus can be found in protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Vitamin D is doubly important because not only does it boost mineral density, it also helps absorb, carry, and deposit calcium in the bones that support your teeth. Some dairy products and cereal are fortified with vitamin D, but you can also get it naturally from the sun.
Eat calcium-rich foods
Calcium is essential for strong, healthy teeth because it helps remineralize enamel. Incorporate a healthy amount of dairy products, leafy greens, and nuts into your diet. Sure, you may know that dairy products are a great source of calcium, but so are leafy greens, beans, and almonds.
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:
You can find probiotics in supplement form and certain yogurt brands also contain probiotics. You’ll need to take these daily for the best results.
Drink water instead of soda or juice
Acidic drinks like soda and fruit juice wear away enamel, which can contribute to yellowing of your teeth. Water is a much more enamel-friendly choice.
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.
Snacking on carbs during the day provides the bacteria in our mouths with a consistent supply of food. Well-fed bacteria will produce more acid which in turn weakens tooth enamel. As well, it is good to give our digestive systems time to break and rejuvenate.
If you need to snack, make sure it is carb-free or rinse your mouth with water after eating. This should help dilute the sugar and help the saliva buffer the acids.
Remove refined sugar from your diet
Sugar is the main food source for bacteria that produce harmful acid on our teeth. As well, it is undoubtfully a contributing factor to many health problems including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Eliminating refined sugar from your diet will help to drastically reduce bacteria food supply. In turn, this will protect your teeth from the damaging acid bacteria produce.
Remove grains from your diet
In short, grains, nuts and seeds contain a substance called phytic acid which impairs the absorption of the beneficial minerals zinc, iron and calcium. If you must eat grains, it may be less harmful to eat them after they are fermented.
Clean your tongue
Keeping your tongue clean by brushing it well during your oral hygiene routine is a great way to reduce bacteria. Additionally, you may notice fresher breath and an overall cleaner feeling.
Improve digestion for absorption
If your gut health is out of whack, it can hinder the absorption of minerals and nutrients. You may be eating the correct foods but if they are not properly absorbed, remineralisation of your teeth can not occur.
Stress, certain medications, amalgam fillings, parasites and processed foods can negatively affect absorption.
Try eating healthy fats with each meal to increase absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K. As well, take a probiotic supplement or eat probiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, pickles or kombucha.
Chew sugar-free gum
Sugar-free gum promotes the production of saliva which is full of teeth strengthening minerals. If you suffer from dry mouth, gum is a great way to increase saliva and promote healthy teeth.
Moreover, after meals or snacks when brushing your teeth is not an available option, gum makes for a great substitute. This is because chewing gum will increase salivary flow which will dilute the acids and aid in the removal of food debris and bacteria from the teeth and gums.
Treat stomach issues
Severe heartburn and reflux can bring acid to your mouth, damaging tooth enamel. See your doctor and treat any gastrointestinal conditions.
Treat teeth grinding or clenching
Teeth grinding usually occurs on a subconscious level where the teeth become clenched or ground together. This process can happen during sleep or while awake and it wears down or fractures the tooth’s enamel. If you notice you have a consistent jaw ache, facial pain or worn-down teeth, consult a dentist.
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. 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.
Reduce starchy foods
Starchy foods, 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 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.
Consume fruit and fruit juices in moderation
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.
See the dentist regularly
Seeing the dentist every 6 months helps to keep your teeth and gums strong. Your dentist can identify areas that may need improvement as well as detect diseases early. Moreover, the dentist can remove substances like tartar from teeth that brushing alone can not remove.
Visiting a dental professional for regular evaluations will help you control enamel erosion, as they will be able to diagnose the issue and provide treatment recommendations. Your dental professional is ready to answer your questions, educate you on the best steps to keep your mouth healthy and make recommendations for your overall lifelong oral health. By knowing how to strengthen teeth, you can prevent enamel erosion and other dental problems.