Weaker teeth aren’t just about a less-than-perfect smile. They can put your whole health on the line, causing discomfort, making eating tricky, and even leading to serious infections!
Fortunately, you’ve got the power to turn things around! By adopting a handful of simple yet oh-so-effective habits, you can not only halt the weakening of your teeth but actually strengthen them and give your overall oral health a serious boost.
So, stick with us as we dive into these six magical habits that can bring your teeth back to their shiny, strong glory!
What Factors Lead to Weak Teeth?
There are quite a few factors that affect the health and strength of your teeth and gums. A lowdown on the usual suspects includes:
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Not brushing and flossing regularly amounts to bacteria party raging in your mouth. Bacteria just love to munch on the food particles stuck on your teeth, thus producing acids. The resulting acids will eat away at your tooth enamel, weakening your pearly whites.
- Acidic Foods and Drinks: Some of our all-time favorite treats are super acidic. We’re talking about soda, citrus fruits, and vinegar-based foods. They’re tasty, but they can also erode our tooth enamel over time. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a soda or enjoy an orange, but moderation is key.
- Grinding or Clenching: You might not even know you’re doing it, especially if it’s happening in your sleep. The pressure from grinding or clenching your teeth can cause them to crack or chip.
- Sugary Snacks: They might be sweet and alluring, but ultimately, the risks outweigh the benefits. Oral cavity bacteria break down the sugar into acid, which then wears away at your enamel.
- Certain Medications and Medical Conditions: Acid reflux and certain medications can cause dry mouth or introduce more acid into your mouth, both of which will hurt your enamel.
Is It Possible to Rebuild Tooth Enamel?
Your enamel acts as your teeth’s personal bodyguard, protecting the softer, sensitive inner parts of your teeth from decay.
But, what happens to the tooth’s enamel when lost? Is it gone for good? Unfortunately, yes. Unlike your bones, which contain living cells to help them heal and regenerate, your tooth enamel doesn’t have this capability. Once it’s worn away, it’s gone for good.
How to Make Your Teeth Stronger
The exciting news, though, is that you can strengthen the enamel you’ve got left through a process called remineralization (that is, packing your body with teeth-strengthening minerals). And trust us, your teeth will thank you for it!
1. Eating the Right Food to Strengthen Tooth Enamel and Promote Healthy Teeth
Let’s dive into some teeth-boosting grub that’ll have your tooth enamel saying, “Thank you!”
- Cheese, Please: Cheese is on the list of calcium-rich foods, which your teeth love. Calcium will strengthen the enamel and keep your teeth looking healthy. Plus, cheesy foods are totally brace-friendly, so feel free to indulge!
- Milk It: Another calcium-rich superstar is milk. You might be way past your cookie-dunking days, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to this enamel-friendly beverage. Almond and soy milk are also great options, especially for those who can’t have dairy products.
- Yogurt Yumminess: Yogurt, particularly the Greek variety, not only brings calcium to the table but it’s also a healthy way of including probiotic-rich foods in your balanced diet! Probiotics are the good bacteria that help combat the bad bacteria in your mouth, resulting in healthier teeth and gums. A little tip for our brace-wearing patients, go for the smooth varieties. That way, you don’t have to worry about bits getting stuck in your brackets!
- Crunchy Vegetables: These crunchy veggies aren’t just great for your overall health; they can also help scrub your teeth as you eat, keeping your enamel in tip-top shape. If you’re wearing braces, cut them into bite-sized pieces to avoid any wire-bending accidents.
- Fishy Business: Fatty fish, like salmon, are full of vitamin D, which helps your teeth use calcium more effectively. Other foods that are rich in healthy fats include vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.
- Strawberries for the Win: Strawberries are surprisingly healthy for your teeth. They contain malic acid, which acts as a natural teeth whitener. However, do be mindful if you have sensitive teeth or are wearing braces, as they can be a bit on the acidic side.
2. Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods
Picture this: you’ve just chomped down on a sugary donut, or maybe you’ve just guzzled a fizzy soda. What you may not know is that the bacteria lounging around in your mouth are about to throw a wild party. These bacteria absolutely love sugar, so they gobble it up and then produce acid as a byproduct.
This acid will launch an all-out attack on your tooth enamel, in a process called demineralization. Over time, these acid attacks will weaken your enamel and cause tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and, you guessed it, cavities!
3. Setting Up a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
Your mouth is the gateway to your body, so taking good care of it isn’t just about flaunting a killer smile—it’s about keeping yourself in tip-top shape, too!
First things first, brushing. It’s a no-brainer, right? But here’s a thing that not everybody knows: when you’ve just eaten something acidic, hold off on the brushing for a while. Acid will soften your tooth enamel, and brushing straight away can wear it away. Wait for about 30 minutes before you start brushing, thus giving your saliva a chance to neutralize the acid and help remineralize your teeth.
And about brushing, we don’t mean a quick once-over here. Get yourself a fluoride toothpaste or a remineralization toothpaste to help strengthen your enamel. Take your time with it, and make sure you’re brushing all those hidden nooks and crannies.
Alright, next on the list is flossing, which helps clean out those tricky spaces between your teeth where a regular toothbrush can’t reach. And you know who loves those spots? Bacteria. Kick them out of their hiding spots with a good flossing session. It’ll help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Or, if flossing is not your strong suit, give interdental brushing a chance.
Lastly, your tongue can harbor bacteria and food particles, so give it a good brushing or use a tongue scraper to keep it clean.
4. Make Sure You Drink Plenty of Water
Water is pretty much the Swiss Army knife of drinks — it does so much good for our bodies, and yes, that includes our oral health, too.
Here’s the scoop: drinking water, especially after meals, helps to wash away bits of food and dilutes any acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. Less acid equals less chance of your tooth enamel taking a hit. So, every time you drink water, you’re doing your enamel a big favor!
If your water is fluoridated, it’s even better. Fluoride is a total superstar when it comes to strengthening tooth enamel and reducing the risk of tooth decay. Some people call it nature’s cavity fighter — imagine getting a dose every time you drink from the tap!
5. No More Late-Night Teeth Grinding
Stopping teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a must if you want to boast strong teeth.
When you’re grinding away, you’re putting a ton of pressure on your teeth—way more than they’re made to handle. That’s like making them run a marathon every night! Over time, this teeth marathoning can lead to chipped teeth, enamel wear, increased tooth sensitivity, and even tooth loss.
But when you get the upper hand on bruxism, you’re giving your teeth a much-deserved vacation. They get to chill out, and your enamel stays intact, keeping your teeth strong and healthy.
6. Don’t Visit Your Dentist Only When Something’s Wrong
Seeing your dentist regularly is key if you want to prevent tooth decay and keep your teeth in tip-top shape. It’s like a spa day for your smile!
Your dentist can spot any potential problems in their early stages, such as cavities or gum disease, that might be weakening your teeth without you even knowing it. Plus, they’ll give your teeth a professional clean, removing plaque and tartar that’s hard to shift at home, which can help prevent enamel wear!
Looking for More Ways to Strengthen Your Teeth? Patuxent Orthodontics Can Help
Contact Patuxent Orthodontics if orthodontic treatment is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic treatment or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (240) 802-7217 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 44220 Airport View Dr., Hollywood, MD 20636, proudly serves Maryland’s Patuxent area, as well as the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Hollywood, Wildewood, or Leonardtown and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Maryland, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community.
- Cherney, Kristeen. “11 Ways to Remineralize Your Teeth.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 4 May 2023, www.healthline.com/health/remineralizing-teeth. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.