The role of modern toothpastes.
Along with tooth whitening toothpastes, you may have seen advertisements for toothpastes that claim to ‘remineralise’ teeth.
Whilst the claims may seem quite impressive, we suspect that quite a few people will not actually understand what this means, and it’s not surprising. In today’s blog, The Lodge Dental Suite team take a look at this process to help our Cheshunt patients have a better understanding.
Minerals play an important role in our bodies, and dental health is no different. They play a crucial role in keeping the enamel of our teeth strong and healthy, helping to protect the inner parts of the teeth which are more vulnerable to decay etc. We can get most of the minerals that we need from our food, but some people may lack in these due to illnesses, medication or even poor oral care. When this happens, the enamel of our teeth is likely to be weakened.
It is probably not widely known that the saliva that we produce contains many minerals that help to strengthen the enamel as well as helping to clean away the bacteria from the teeth and gums. As we have covered before, this is important in the fight against gum disease, but minerals such as calcium and phosphorus ions are also present in our saliva and play their role in keeping the enamel of our teeth in good condition.
Where we struggle to produce sufficient saliva on a regular basis, this can cause mineral loss which negatively affects the health of our teeth. This can happen if we smoke, drink regularly or even as a side effect of an illness or related medication.
Preventing mineral loss
In order to prevent mineral loss, we should do all that we can to keep a healthy saliva flow. Whilst some causes, such as illnesses or medication, may make this very difficult for some, most of our patients should be able to maintain this, with perhaps a few modifications in lifestyle. Stopping smoking should be a ‘no brainer’ and it’s hard to find anything positive to say about smoking in general. It ruins your health, your teeth and costs an absolute fortune, so naturally our advice is to seek help to stop if you currently smoke.
Making sure that we stay well hydrated, and especially at bedtime, is an easy way that we can help to maintain a healthy saliva flow. Of course, you should also visit The Lodge Dental Suite for your six monthly check ups and hygienist appointments too.
Can the toothpastes help?
Probably without knowing it, you have almost certainly been using a toothpaste that does this, for some time. One of the most effective minerals to keep our teeth healthy is fluoride. This is present in most toothpastes and really helps to strengthens the enamel of our teeth.
Newer toothpastes have also introduced calcium into their formulations and this complements the work of fluoride in keeping our mouths healthy. It is early days in the marketing of these toothpastes, and whether they produce significantly better results than fluoride toothpastes alone remains to be seen. So for now, prevention is the best path to take to keep your teeth and gums healthy. In summary; use a fluoride toothpaste, clean your teeth and gums well, see a dentist every six months and stay well hydrated.
If you have any questions that you would like us to answer in our blogs, please let us know. You can email us via the contact form on our website, or should you wish to arrange to see a dentist, simply call our Cheshunt practice on 01992 643388.