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Strengthening teeth means ensuring your tooth enamel does not get worn down. It is also known as remineralizing.
Tooth enamel is the outer calcified layer of a tooth. It acts as a protective barrier for your teeth.
Enamel can be worn down in different ways, which include:
When the enamel is worn away, your teeth become very sensitive. Worn-down enamel can also lead to cavities and gum disease.
Here are a few reasons why it's important to have strong teeth:
There is a variety of toothpaste that help strengthen your teeth. Many of these will have fluoride in them.
Fluoride helps reverse early decay by remineralizing (repairing) the enamel layer and protecting your teeth against bacteria. It is a mineral naturally found in many foods and water.
However, when swallowed at high doses, fluoride can be toxic. Its effects include:
For those that don’t want to take the chance, there are fluoride-free alternatives available. One of these is Boka toothpaste.
Boka products contain a mineral called nano-hydroxyapatite (nHa). Unlike fluoride, nHa naturally occurs in the body.
While relatively new to the US, nHa-based toothpaste has been the standard in Japan for almost forty years now. Recent studies have suggested that nHa may actually prevent decay more effectively than fluoride.3
Oral health experts recommend brushing twice daily to prevent plaque buildup. They recommend doing it in the morning and evening, before going to bed.
Brushing your teeth more often will drastically reduce bacteria's food supply. However, it is also important to brush correctly.
Dental experts recommend waiting an hour after eating to brush your teeth. You should also use a soft-bristled toothbrush with light pressure to avoid being too abrasive to your tooth enamel.
According to a recent study, almost 80% of American adults have tooth decay. The main culprits here are fruit juice and soda.6
When you drink soda, the sugars provide food for bacteria to produce acid. Meanwhile, juices are even worse because they contain both sugars and acids.
Acidic drinks like soda and fruit juice wear away enamel. To maintain a good oral hygiene routine, consider drinking water instead.
An easy way to keep your teeth clean is to maintain a balanced diet. This means not only eating healthy foods, but also limiting your intake of starchy, sugary, and acidic foods.
Reducing sugar and starches in the diet helps starve acid-producing bacteria. Acidic drinks cover your teeth in acid, weakening them by leaching out vital minerals.
If you experience teeth grinding (bruxism), bite guards designed by orthodontists can prevent it throughout the day. Teeth grinding can easily wear away enamel and is often a symptom of anxiety, stress, hyperactivity, or in reaction to a medication.4
Meanwhile, a dry mouth can also lead to weakened tooth enamel. When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, plaque builds up faster, and remineralization is harder.
If you are experiencing dry mouth, here are some things you can do:
Here are some of the best enamel-protecting foods:
A diet rich in proper vitamins and minerals is essential to promote healthy teeth. Dairy products are a good source of Vitamin D.
However, some people cannot consume dairy. Those who are lactose-intolerant can take Vitamin D supplements to ensure they receive healthy levels.
Eating healthy fats (found in foods like salmon) can increase the absorption of Vitamins D and A. Another way to increase absorption is to eat probiotic-rich foods such as:
Acid reflux and heartburn are causes of acid erosion in the enamel. Those with severe acid reflux or heartburn should not eat acidic fruits or spicy foods.
Some other foods to avoid include:
Foods that may counteract stomach acid include:
Tooth decay is caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky, pale substance containing bacteria, saliva, and leftover food that forms on your teeth.
The bacteria in plaque feed off refined starches and sugars and produce acid as a byproduct. This acid leaches minerals from teeth, weakening them and causing cavities.
Tooth decay can prevent you from enjoying various foods and lead to cavities and tooth loss. It can also lead to complications elsewhere in your body.
Once your enamel layer is lost, you cannot get it back because it is inorganic matter. That means, unlike hair, nails, and skin, it does not regrow. Therefore, it is essential to keep your tooth enamel strong.
Thankfully, while you cannot get your tooth enamel back, you can reverse the damage before it's too late. This is called demineralization.
Remineralization involves forcing teeth-strengthening minerals and vitamins back into the enamel. There are various toothpastes, rinses, and gels available that help remineralize teeth.
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