You hear about it sometimes. Is it really true that you can remineralize teeth? We’re happy to report that while you cannot ‘reverse’ a cavity, you CAN remineralize your teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to tooth decay. Today we are going to discuss natural, over the counter, and even some good ol’ remedies which your dentist can provide in order to keep your smile looking pearly white. Let’s discuss the Top 14 ways how to reverse tooth decay and remineralize teeth!
Is it actually possibly to reverse tooth decay?
While you cannot, indeed, reverse a cavity that has already been formed, there are some things that you can do to help to stop tooth decay in its tracks. Certain vitamins, food combinations, and technological innovations which are available only by appointment… with your dentist.
So, does it work?
Absolutely. With the information we provide you can create your own defense regimen against tooth decay. Just be sure to stick to it and when the time comes for your next dental appointment then it can be one of the ‘quick’ ones.
Those are the best kind, no?
You know the old saying about an ounce of ‘prevention’ being worth more than a pound of ‘cure’ and it’s as true as it has always been. Neglect your house for awhile and it gets dusty. Trash starts piling up. Fresh food goes bad. Why would neglecting your mouth be any different?
Psychologists tell us that it takes about 66 days to effectively adopt a habit. We know, we know, there are some out there promising 7 days but those ‘do X quickly’ schemes seldom work. Set yourself some realistic expectations after you have decided on the steps here which you wish to incorporate and before you know it you will have a solid set of hygienic habits, sure to keep you smiling proudly for many years to come.
Almost no one wants to visit the Dentist. Sure, we’ll go when we have to, but it’s always with a bit of trepidation. We worry about what the Dentist is going to find and often it’s for a good reason.
Ironically enough, the same reason we don’t want to go in the first place, because we haven’t been visiting regularly. There is a secret to keeping the Dentist at bay and that secret is simply to take control by scheduling those regular appointments. This is not only critical to your dental hygiene (your Dentist has all those fancy gizmos that can catch problems early, for one thing) but it also helps to ease your mind and over time, to stop dreading those appointments. You’ve tried everything else, you know, why not try the RIGHT thing?
Tip #2 – Understand your enemy
We all know about the relationship between sugar and bacteria. Bacteria loves to munch down on it and to erode your teeth in the process. There are a few things to keep in mind, though, when it comes to sugars:
- Yes, fruits are a great substitute, as it’s hard to add extra ‘spoonfuls’ of sugar. It’s not so much the composition of the sugar as it is the amount in that regard. Be careful with citrus and some other fruits, however, as they can contain high levels of fructic acid can eat at your enamel as well.
- It is not so much the sugar that does the damage as it is the change in PH values in your mouth. This can be caused by sugars as well as acids we ingest. So if you are eating a lot of sugary foods you definitely want to add some rinsing to your regimen but also if you are eating acidic or spicy foods too!
Tip #3 – Consider an electric toothbrush
Healthline has a thing or two to say on the subject of using an electric toothbrush instead of an old-fashioned ‘manual’ one. According to a collection of studies, within a 3 month period of using an electric toothbrush instead of a standard one plaque buildup was reduced by 21% and Gingivitis by 11%. That’s a significant amount, folks, and worth a little consideration!
Tip # 4 – How to properly floss
Colgate reminds us that flowing properly is one of the keys to good dental hygiene that a lot of people like to skip. As food gets caught between your teeth easily, flossing just makes good sense and if you are going to do it, why not do it right? Some quick rules can help you to do it fast and effectively:
- Pull off about 18 inches of floss, looping it around your middle fingers until you have about 2 inches of floss to work with
- Make a small loop so that you can floss on both sides of each tooth
- Work your way across, changing your floss as needed
Simple and effective, don’t forget to floss!
Tip # 5 Glass ionomer fillings – a dentist’s secret weapon for kids
If you have a child who is at a high risk of tooth decay from sneaky-snacking, there is a sneaky weapon of your own which may be deployed against tooth decay and it comes from your dentist. Children’s Dental Zone of Georgia describes glass ionomer fillings as a great option for prevention, as these small fillings actually release a small amount of fluoride to strengthen your child’s teeth. While they are not as strong as standard fillings, they are still worth consideration so be sure to check with your local dentist!
The best natural ways to reverse tooth decay
Not everybody wants to run out and buy a lot of chemical rinses or resort to electric toothbrushes or rely completely on these things, and for those of you out there who prefer a few natural methods we have collected an assortment of tips which we think that you will enjoy. Let’s take a look!
Tip #6 – Foods that help
We are reminded by the University of Rochester that the American Dental Association recommends high-fiber foods as a way to help keep your teeth clean. For one, the rough veggies actually ‘brush’ your teeth, but there is a little more. The act of chewing those vegetables encourages salivation, which can rinse your teeth after ‘brushing’ them.
Not a bad deal at all.
With some plastic baggies you can easily make yourself some veggie snack-packs that will taste good and help you to keep the decay at bay in the bargain!
Tip #7 – Teas and your teeth
Green and Black teas are a great way to get your caffeine with less of a stain risk than you get with coffee. As a bonus, the tannins in those teas helps to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth at the same time that it is fortifying you to start your day. If you are using tap water to make your teeth there is also likely to be a bit of fluoride in your drink, so you should really consider making ‘tea time’ a regular thing,
Tip #8 – Probiotic supplements
Probiotics are highly beneficial to dental hygiene. For instance, a study from the National Library of Medicine advises us that dental plaque is reduced with the regular ingestion of probiotics. This, of course, reduces the risk of plaque related diseases. Probiotic supplements are easy to get online and you’ll find them naturally in pickles, yoghurt, sauerkraut, and other foods as well.
Tip #9 – Rinses and oils
Making your own mouthwash with essential oils is a great and tasty way to keep tooth decay at bay. Here are a few reasons why it’s good to make your own:
- No mystery ingredients – Let’s face it, when you are selecting a mouthwash it sometimes feels like you need a degree to understand everything that’s in the rinse. Worse, once you learn the chemicals to watch for, it’s not uncommon for them to be replaced with a less-known generic form of the same thing. If you make your own, you know exactly what is in it and that extra peace of mind is well worth your time.
- Time tested and Grandparent approved – Odds are that you have some older relatives who have their own recipes for the best mouthwash. These things stick around because they work, you know?
- Antibacterial properties – With so many different oils, it is easy to infuse the properties which you want in your mouthwash and there are quite a lot of options with antibacterial properties to choose from.
- It tastes the way you want mouthwash to taste – Unless you really like mint or cinnamon, without shopping in the kids aisle it’s very hard to find a mouthwash that doesn’t feel overly, well, medicinal. With homemade mouthwash that’s not a problem at all.
Tip #10 – Surprise! Milk can be a tricky thing
While milk and other dairy products are high in calcium, one thing that you might not consider is that lactose is a type of sugar and large amounts of this can be bad for your teeth. We aren’t saying that you should give up the milk and the cheese (hey, who could?!), just consider the occasional rinse following those snacks to help to make sure that you are only getting the benefits side of dairy.
Over-the-counter methods to remineralize teeth
There are a number of products on the market that can help in remineralizing your teeth to make them strong and safe. Unfortunately there are also a lot of ‘shabby’ products out there, so we’re going to give you a few tips on how to find the RIGHT products that we think can help.
Tip #11 – Toothpaste that remineralizes
When it comes to finding a good toothpaste for remineralization there are a few things that you want to look for. First, make sure that it has the ADA’s seal of approval. The American Dental Association is careful what they endorse so this is always a good sign. Next, go with brands you trust. There are some clinically proven ones such as CliniPRO and Sensodyne but Google some specific toothpastes just to rule out any surprises. Last, consider asking your Dentist.
So many problems can be avoiding by simply asking your Dentist. Oh, and there are some specific chemicals to look for as we will detail shortly.
Tip #12 – Mouthwash that remineralizes
With toothpaste and mouthwash, the advice for one applies to the other. One thing that can help in cutting down your search time is to look for these three ingredients:
- Calcium phosphate
- Sodium fluoride
- Stannous fluoride
These ingredients bond to weakened enamel and help to ‘fortify’ your teeth against decay. So look for what works by checking for one or more of these three ingredients.
Tip #13 – Vitamins and Minerals
Certain vitamins and minerals are known to strengthen your teeth and so some over-the-counter vitamins are well worth your time. Look for:
- Vitamin A – Good for gums and enamel.
- Calcium – Strengthens enamel.
- Vitamin D – Helps in absorbing vitamins and boosts mineral density.
- Phosphorous – Greatly strengthens enamel.
Tip #14 – Xylitol gum
Get some Xylitol gum for your candy craving. You can get it with fluoride and so the chewing will promote salivation for rinsing at the same time that the fluoride is strengthening your enamel!
We hope that these tips have helped you to decide on how you can best keep tooth decay at bay and remineralize your teeth. While not everyone agrees on the best approach, we’ve included a little bit for everyone here and if you like what you read, why not give some of these tips a try? In about 3 months you will notice the difference. Just be sure not to neglect Tip #1.
Keep those dental appointments regular!
Healthline; “Is It Better to Use an Electric or a Manual Toothbrush?””
Colgate; “”Flossing teeth properly, How To Floss”
Children’s Dental Zone; “Fillings”
University of Rochester Medical Center; “The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth”
National Library of Medicine; “Probiotics and Dental Caries”