Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body. Its job is to protect the tooth's softer tissues and root, literally the center of everyone's oral health. Tooth decay and demineralization is the destruction of the enamel, the Centers for Disease Control defines, and it isn't a condition to take lightly. Once your enamel is compromised, cavities form and a whole host of dental nuisances can begin. With the right preventative care, you can remineralize teeth to keep your enamel strong and your smile healthy.
What Triggers Tooth Decay?
Plaque is a sticky film on your teeth that builds up over time, according to the American Dental Association. After you eat something sugary, the bacteria that live within the plaque erupt in an acid attack. These attacks strip enamel of calcium and phosphorus, minerals that keep enamel hard and strong. Demineralization of teeth, over time, leaves permanent wear on your enamel, eventually leading to tooth decay. When tooth decay is in its early stages, you often experience sensitivity when you take a sip of coffee or a bite of ice cream. You might even notice white spots or a dingy hue on the surface of your teeth. Early signs of weakened enamel can often be reversed by adding minerals that will make it strong again.
How Do I Remineralize Teeth?
Remineralization is the process of putting lost minerals back onto the surface of your teeth. Saliva has a natural process for neutralizing plaque acids. Once saliva neutralizes after an acid attack, it swishes around in your mouth, carrying calcium and phosphorus ions that remineralize teeth. This process is critical to your enamel health and there are measures you can take to support it. Try to avoid frequent snacking, especially on sugary things. If your mouth is dry, chew sugar-free gum after meals to encourage saliva production. Brush twice a day to remove plaque with a remineralizing paste like Colgate® Enamel Health™ Mineral Repair™ Toothpaste. To make sure you're getting those hard-to-reach spots, be sure to floss once a day and use a fluoride rinse like Colgate® Enamel Health™ Mouthwash, Alcohol-Free.
Protect your enamel by removing plaque and taking steps to remineralize teeth. Strong enamel is your best defense against cavities.