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Do you have problems with white spots, weakening of teeth or more frequent cavities? The reason for these issues may be the demineralizing of your tooth enamel. Here is a guide to help you understand what demineralization is and what you can do to protect your teeth.

What is the process of demineralization?

Demineralization happens when the mineral content on your teeth begins to wear away. It is the first sign of tooth decay and may be caused by a variety of factors. The enamel on your teeth is a hard and protective substance and has a high mineral content. For the most part, demineralization has to occur for the tooth to begin to decay and form cavities and other problems. Plaque build up breaks down enamel and contributes to the process of demineralization which makes the tooth’s interior dentin and sensitive root more vulnerable.

Demineralization effects the tooth’s appearance and wears away the tooth’s smooth surface.  As the teeth become rougher, plaque, tartar and staining may occur on the tooth’s surface, which may make brushing your teeth painful and less effective.

How do I prevent demineralization of my teeth?

Drinking acidic or sugary drinks is one of the main reasons that demineralization occurs, so refraining from having these drinks will reduce the possibility of demineralization of your teeth.  Make sure your diet includes proper levels of calcium and phosphates, which may be consumed through dairy products and green leafy vegetables. Poor oral hygiene also contributes to demineralization such as brushing too hard and not having a daily routine of proper brushing (at least two times a day). Once the enamel is worn away, it can not be regenerated or restored.  Enamel is not a growing organic tissue like skin or bone, and there are no other sources of enamel in the human body. The best way to stop the process of demineralization is the use of fluoride. Chewing sugarless gum will also help since saliva produced from chewing is a great way to protect your tooth enamel.

What are the most effective fluoride treatments?

Fluoride is very useful in restoring mineral qualities to your tooth enamel since it is a naturally occurring mineral.  Fluoride will enable your teeth to become smooth and strong again by the remineralization of your teeth. When you go for your regular cleaning at the dentist’s office, a common practice will be to apply a foaming gel to your teeth once they are thoroughly cleaned. You may also purchase over the counter gels with fluoride or use toothpaste that contains an extra-fluoride formula.

Make sure to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Melchers’s office for your regular teeth cleaning to aid in proper treatment of demineralization. We are here to address any of your dental health issues and decide the best course of treatment for our patients so please contact us today at info@oldmtpleasantdentistry.com.