Two Important Minerals Known to Help Prevent Cavities

Give it Up For Fluoride and Calcium!

Our teeth are constantly experiencing two very different processes referred to as “demineralization” and “remineralization”. So you may be wondering, what in the heck does that mean?

Know the Difference: Dental Demineralization vs. Remineralization

Well, demineralization occurs when the tooth loses the important minerals that make up its structure. This is also referred to as decay, which often eventually leads to a hole in the tooth or cavity that requires filling. Eating foods and substances that are carbohydrate and/or sugar based creates bacterial acids in the mouth that pull these important minerals from the teeth.

Remineralization occurs when minerals that make up the tooth’s structure is restored… which is what helps to prevent a full blown cavity from forming in the tooth. It is when more demineralization occurs than remineralization where our teeth are at risk for needing a filling from the dentist.

Fortunately, there are two minerals known to aid in the remineralization process: fluoride and calcium! Our Burlington dentist wants to let you in on how this works for each:

Fluoride - Fluoride helps to build tooth structure because it interacts with the tooth’s mineral “hydroxyapatite” to create a compound that is less susceptible to acid damage – helping to make the tooth stronger over time. A person can expose their teeth to fluoride through consuming fluoridated water, or through topical use such as brushing the teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste or rinsing with a fluoridated mouth rinse.

Calcium - Calcium helps to remineralize the tooth by restoring or re-adding the calcium minerals that make up the tooth that have been lost through demineralization. A person can expose their teeth to calcium through consuming calcium-dense foods and beverages such as milk, cheese, yogurt, kale, almonds, and calcium-fortified plant milks.

Could your smile use more calcium or fluoride?

Visiting the dentist every 6 months will help you to keep on top of the health of your teeth. The dentist will be able to let you know about any areas of concern where there may be early tooth decay or enamel erosion present. This is always a great reason to consider increasing your daily calcium intake, or to think about how you can expose your teeth to more fluoride to help prevent that early decay from tuning into cavities that require treatment.