Remineralising products aid tooth remineralisation, the natural repair process for non-cavitated tooth lesions (white spot lesions/early signs of tooth decay). It is the mouths attempt to heal demineralised (damaged) tooth surfaces after sugar and acid attack, which left unchecked can result in tooth decay or tooth surface loss. Calcium, phosphate and if present fluoride ions, are deposited into the demineralised tooth surface from saliva and can repair early signs of decay and tooth wear. Remineralising products boost the healing action of saliva. Use as directed by your dental team or Growing Smiles coach alongside your normal oral health care routine. Details on how to use individual products can be found on the their page. Find out more about tooth decay here .
Should you use a remineralising product? If you are at increased risk of developing tooth decay or tooth surface loss, a remineralising product can help protect your teeth and maintain good oral health preventing cavities and tooth surface loss.
Tooth surfaces lose minerals from acid attacks usually from food and drinks. The longer the acid remains in the mouth the more damage (demineralisation) will occur. Acids are produced by sugary and acidic food and drink attacking the tooth surface to DEMINERALISE (melt) tooth surfaces. Once you have finished eating/drinking the calcium and phosphate ions in saliva try to REMINERALISE (heal) the tooth surface. This tooth remineralisation can take anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 hours after the food/drink has been consumed. Trying to reduce the amount and frequency that sugars and acids are in your mouth will help reduce damage to your teeth.
Saliva is very important in the process of remineralising tooth surfaces. Saliva keeps your mouth at a neutral pH. A healthy mouth will have a pH of 7.5 to 8.5 – the ideal level for remineralisation. If the pH is lower than 5.5, minerals can be lost from enamel (the outer coating covering crown of the tooth (the bit you see above the gum line). Root surfaces that are exposed for example by recession, are not covered in hard enamel. These much softer dentine surfaces will start to demineralise in a pH of approximately 6.5. The long term result of recurrent demineralisation from sugars will be decay and root decay. The result of long term acid attack from acidic food and drink will be tooth surface loss. These acids may enter the mouth as food or drink or as a result of acid reflux. Find out more about acid and your mouth here.
Remineralising products can help boost the action of saliva by replacing the minerals. Fluoride in toothpaste is key in this remineralising/healing process. Get the most from your toothpaste – spit out after brushing but don’t rinse away all the toothpaste – let the fluoride (and any other active ingredients) work for as long as possible.
Dry mouth and poor saliva flow increases the potential for loss of minerals from your teeth which can result in tooth decay or tooth surface loss. Find out more about saliva and your oral health here.