You may not know it, but our mouths are full of natural minerals such as calcium and phosphate. In the form of saliva, these minerals help to remineralise teeth and make up our tooth enamel, bone and dentin. This prevents tooth decay and cavities overtime.
As we get older, we start to lose the natural minerals in our teeth. This is often due to eating too many sugary foods and the growth of unhealthy bacteria. Plus, when we age, our mouths naturally produce less saliva and we may get dry mouth. It’s important to keep the natural minerals in our mouths if possible, so what can we do?
No one will ever tell you to drink less water. Staying hydrated is imperative to living a healthy life, and water is the sugar-free beverage that gives us the most energy. To keep the minerals in our mouths, dentists suggest drinking plenty of water. This is because water keeps our mouths clean and will remove any excess food that has been left after eating. Alongside drinking water, you may wish to rinse your mouth with water after eating to remove anything left behind and reduce unwanted bacteria.
Brush our teeth
In order to have good dental hygiene, you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth removes any bacteria that enters your mouth through food and drink. This bacteria can attack the natural minerals in your mouth and destroy them, so brushing your teeth is extremely important. Make sure you’re using a good quality toothbrush which you should replace every few months. Also, make sure that you’re using the correct brushing technique. If you’re not sure about this, ask your dentist for advice.
Use fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water. It can help to prevent tooth decay, which is why it’s added to many brands of toothpaste. Therefore, brushing your teeth thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste is one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay and remineralising your teeth. Most fluoride toothpaste will be well labelled and easily located in supermarkets or pharmacies.
Cut out sugar
Sugary foods are high in acid and therefore can cause erosion and tooth decay. Sugar interacts with the bacteria in your mouth by breaking down tooth enamel. Your dentist may have warned you of the dangers of eating too much sugar, but you might not know that sugar also destroys the natural minerals in your mouth. So, to get them back, you may wish to consider eating a healthier diet and replacing sugar with foods that are good for your teeth like those rich in calcium and vitamin C. This includes spinach, leafy vegetables and low-fat milk and yoghurts.
Whilst it’s possible to get plenty of vitamins through diet alone, you might want to consider taking vitamin supplements to ensure you’re getting everything your teeth requires. This might involve calcium or vitamin D tablets. You can ask your dentist for some advice on the best vitamins to take for keeping your teeth healthy.
If you’re worried about the health of your teeth, please book an appointment with your dentist today.