mouth wash

Is it Possible to Remineralize Tooth Enamel?

December 19th, 2019

How much do you know about tooth remineralization? Tooth remineralization is a normal process that happens each day within our mouths. Remineralization repairs the outer layer of our tooth, also known as enamel, which is known to be the hardest substance in our body. Tooth enamel comprises approximately 96% minerals including hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite is made up of calcium, phosphate, and hydroxide, which are important for the integrity of our teeth. Naturally, the process of demineralization, otherwise known as the loss of minerals, happens when the normal bacteria within your mouth feed on the foods we eat and produce acids. Thus, it is important when consuming sugary and acidic foods and beverages to take necessary precautions to protect your teeth. For instance, consuming acidic items in moderation, rinsing with water afterwards, and practicing good oral hygiene habits. That is why our diet and lifestyle choices play an important role in the health of our teeth.

So, how do teeth become remineralized? Turns out, we can thank our saliva for playing a major role in protecting and repairing our tooth enamel. Saliva not only helps wash food away from adhering to your teeth, but it also neutralizes harmful acids. A healthy pH for our mouths is typically around 7.5 to 8.5. Once the pH drops below 5.5, this is when demineralization of tooth enamel begins to occur. The process of demineralization can lead our teeth to develop white spots or cavities. Saliva also consists of many minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride ions which all help boost enamel remineralization. That is why dry mouth, which can occur due to certain medications, medical conditions, or lack of water consumption for instance, can be detrimental to your oral health and put you at an increased risk of developing tooth decay. It is important to inform your dentist of your medical history during each visit.

We want our tooth enamel to stay strong so that our teeth last a lifetime. To promote the remineralization process within the oral cavity, make sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day. Be sure to consume foods rich in vitamins and minerals, including vegetables, cheese, fish, and eggs. Regular dental check-ups are key to help stop demineralization early and to treat it before they become cavities.

 References:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/how-does-tooth-remineralization-work

https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Tooth-Remineralization.aspx

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/cavities/can-you-remineralize-teeth-0915

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Tips on Living Long and Healthy

September 16th, 2019

Now that we're into the month of September, it's time to focus our attention on how to improve our overall health in honor and celebration of Healthy Aging Month! This yearly observance focuses on highlighting tips to help individuals improve their physical and mental health as adults get older. This means also focusing on oral health, since the mouth is a window to the rest of the body. In fact, gum disease, which is common in older people, has been found to be linked with memory loss. Which means taking care of your mind may rely heavily on taking care of your mouth! It is important to realize that as we continue to age, there are changes that occur within the mouth that affect our teeth and the surrounding gums and bone. It is key to minimize damage to our oral cavity at any age by maintaining regular dental visits, and keeping up with good oral hygiene habits each day. Often, poor oral health becomes a factor that worsens existing chronic health problems that an individual may face, including heart disease and diabetes.

In addition, older adults may often be taking several medications daily, which can lead to dry mouth. Not only is the feeling of dry mouth annoying, but it also is harmful to your teeth because it can increase your risk of developing tooth decay due to less saliva being present within the mouth.

No matter what age we are, it is always a great time to start practicing healthy lifestyle habits. Take a look at these tips for healthy aging:

NIH Living Longer Infographic

1. Drink plenty of water!

Staying hydrated is very important for our bodies. Tap water is the best resource because it contains fluoride, which plays a major role in keeping your teeth healthy.

2. Healthy snacks are the way to go

We need to be a little picky with our food choices in order to have a diet that is healthy for our teeth and body. Snacks filled with protein including yogurt, cheese, and nuts make great healthy and tooth-friendly snacks. Also eating foods high in iron, such as spinach, meats, and beans, can help give you the energy you need for each day. Avoid eating sugary foods and candy, as these items aren't so tooth-friendly despite their tastiness.

3. Brushing and flossing habits at home

It is important to brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day to help wash away all of the food particles and bacteria within the mouth that could cause harm to your pearly whites. If you wear any oral appliances, such as a retainer or denture, be sure to clean these since bacteria can harbor themselves there too! Fluoride Mouthwash also makes for a good addition to your oral care habits. Not only does the mouth wash help make your breath smell nice and fresh, it also may contain beneficial fluoride and can easily be added to your night and/or morning time routine.

4. Be active

Exercise is essential for staying healthy as we get older. Adults are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.

5. Schedule your dental visit

Be sure that your are visiting your dentist for a regular check up at least twice a year to ensure that your teeth are healthy.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/oral-health/

https://www.deltadentalma.com/About-Us/News/2016/For-Healthy-Aging-Month,-know-your-mouth-may-hold

https://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/september-is-healthy-aging-month-10-tips-to-celebrate/

https://healthyaging.net/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/

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