Is It Possible To Remineralize Teeth?
Toothpaste ads are full of promises: that they can give you a whiter smile, combat sensitivity, and even restore enamel that has been worn away as a result of age, an acidic diet, illness, or other mistreatment.
Just brushing your teeth regularly and avoiding certain foods is sure to have a positive effect, but consumers want to know the truth. Can they really remineralize their teeth by using certain products or following a particular dental regimen? Products for sensitive teeth really work; why not remineralizing toothpaste?
Dental experts promise there really is a way to rebuild enamel if you are consistent, but what minerals are your teeth made from? Calcium and magnesium are the essential building blocks; minerals also found in strong bones and fingernails.
Your body uses these minerals as electrolytes to promote heart health and they are beloved by bodybuilders for preventing cramps after a workout. When you lack either mineral, it is possible your teeth will suffer, your heart will be weak, bones are brittle, and nails tend to break easily.
Make sure your diet contains both of them, whether as part of healthy eating, in vitamins, or both. Eat lots of kale, broccoli, almonds, and drink milk or fortified milk replacements.
You should also promote the production of saliva in order to defend your tooth enamel by reducing acid and fending off cavities. Ways to create saliva include eating small meals regularly and chewing gum. Don’t chew bubble gum: stick with brands recommended by dentists. Reduce caffeine intake too as cola, coffee, and tea are acidic and tend to stain teeth.
Bacteria love sugar, so don’t eat so much of it. Drink less alcohol. Water down juice or don’t drink it at all.
A bit of a digression here: On the subject of juice, be VERY certain to avoid giving children a never-ending supply of juice! This writer thought that a particular relative knew better than to allow her daughter to drink apple juice every day. There wasn’t a day that went by when this little girl didn’t have a sippy cup filled with the stuff.
The relative said, “Oh, but it’s 100% apple juice! It’s good for her!”
Wrong. Just plain wrong. First of all, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns against giving children too much juice. It contains way too much sugar which not only adds unnecessary (and potentially detrimental) calories to the child’s diet, but it can also hurt their teeth.
This relation’s daughter had tooth decay before she was 5 years old.
There are other reasons to avoid giving a child too much juice, as the above-mentioned article explains, but we’re here to talk about teeth, and ways to help remineralize them.
Back to Diet…
Cut back on cookies, cakes, sweets, and sugary drinks that help bacteria thrive. As they grow, these little monsters eat enamel and cause cavities. Consume more water, eat lots of vegetables and whole grains, and your health will benefit overall.
Practice good oral hygiene with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist twice yearly for cleaning and checkups. A dentist catches problems before they get out of hand; problems which cause patients to lose enamel, leading to dull or stained-looking, sensitive, and brittle teeth.
Supposedly, it is possible to restore minerals to your teeth with the help of over-the-counter products. Certain toothpastes are said to contain enamel-building products absorbed by your teeth to clean teeth, to protect them, and to restore dental health.
They do this with a combination of fluoride and calcium although research is being conducted as to how effects can be maximized for use at home. There is only one way it hurts to give such products a try: they cost more money than regular toothpaste, so it does hurt a little if they don’t work.
Don’t like Fluoride? Consider Pearlie White A.R.T.
A growing number of consumers are leery about using toothpastes containing fluoride. For personal reasons, this writer avoids any product containing ADDED fluoride, although the element is naturally found in certain foods such as tea, shellfish (sea water naturally contains fluoride), and potatoes – among others.
In search of ways to remineralize teeth, an interesting product flashed across this site’s radar: There is toothpaste called Pearlie White Active Remineralization Toothpaste or, as it’s otherwise known, A.R.T. which stands for Active Remineralization Toothpaste), and this particular option is fluoride-FREE – which already sounds good.
This toothpaste, which is wholly owned and made by Corlison Pte. Ltd, a Singapore based company, boasts quite an interesting list of other stuff it DOESN’T contain – which is even better. See the accompanying photo of our own supply (yes, this writer buys and uses it) which shows the packaging.
You’ll notice it has no parabens, peroxide, no phthalates, saccharin, sodium lauryl sulphate, etc. It even avoids animal testing.
What it DOES have, is something called Hydroxyapatite microparticles. According to the manufacturer, Hydroxyapatite is a mineral that is part of the tooth enamel, and they state that the hydroxyapatie microparticles in their formulation will bond with, and subsequently help repair your tooth enamel.
Is there any science behind the claims?
The company says that its ingredients react with saliva, to start a “natural restoration process that remineralizes tooth defects from the bottom up” (See video below). When someone says, “clinically proven” in their ad, that tends to get one’s attention.
In looking up the efficacy of hydroxyapatite when it comes to remineralizing teeth, there actually were some articles in the US National Library of Medicine’s National Institute of Health’s site which offer promising (although not definitive at this point in the research) evidence. Here are a few:
And, this Journal of Dentistry abstract, cited at ScienceDirect.com here: Enamel and dentine remineralization by nano-hydroxyapatite toothpastes
From what we could tell, it does look like there are some newer studies, and perhaps further research that needs to be conducted; however, there is enough to make a case for “why not give it a try?”
There’s another reason to try the Pearlie White Active Remineralization Toothpaste, if nothing else can convince you: The company sponsored a mission about oral care to a number of locations in Cambodia, as well as to Hue, Vietnam(December 2016), and Myanmar. Plus they take customer requests regarding where they can donate toothbrushes.
It’s possible that they are doing even more; and such efforts may become more well-known as the brand grows.
Buy it on Amazon: Pearlie White A.R.T. Toothpaste
How can you test the efficacy of such products? Take a photo of your teeth before you start using a remineralizing toothpaste and another one a month later in the same light. Do they appear visibly whiter as a result of restored enamel? Do they feel better? If a product is working, someone with sensitive teeth will be able to eat and drink cold and hot foods without wincing.