Are you a person who is thinking about her/his oral health and takes dental care seriously? If your answer is yes, as it should be, you might also like to think about your diet as well. Does it include enough foods to remineralize teeth? You should check our article to find the answers to these questions because what you eat is important for your oral health.
Whatever you eat becomes a part of you and we generally want our teeth to be white as pearl and strong as steel. The teeth are made up of mostly minerals which means for better-looking teeth you must consume foods enriched in calcium, vitamins, magnesium, and many other minerals. You might be wondering how these minerals affect your dental health.
Here we will explain the foods to remineralize your teeth.
The nutrients and foods to remineralize your teeth
Your teeth need constant repair to protect their structure. Remineralization is basically the process of forming a shield over your teeth. Your teeth get minerals through salvia and cover dentin forming a strong structure called enamel. Whenever you eat anything acidic, or sugary and you spend some part of that shield leading to the demineralization of teeth.
It is easy to regain your shield if you are following a healthy diet. However, if there are not enough minerals and you delay dental care, bacteria that are feasting on your teeth leave all their acidic trash behind and you get cavities.
For this remineralization process, your body uses different combinations of minerals and vitamins.
The foods to remineralize teeth should be strong in:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K2
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body. It is an essential part of bone and teeth structures. The enamel and dentin layers of teeth have calcium in them so as to have a strong structure. Calcium compounds contribute significantly to tooth enamels’ strength and durability. When you look at your teeth, you see the white external side which is made up of calcium phosphate. It is a crystallized strong structure and the first layer of your teeth. Since it is a vital compound, calcium deficiency might be a serious problem for your dental health.
Calcium Included Foods
- Fish with edible bones (sardines, salmon)
- Leafy greens
Calcium deficiency is a serious problem. In such cases, your body gets the calcium through restored deposits, bones, and teeth. This means you lose density in your teeth, which might lead to dental health problems. Calcium intake can be a problematic situation and health services in different countries gives a variety of number. You should consume approximately 800-1200 mg of calcium per day depending on your age and pregnancy condition. (1)
Vitamin D is the regulator of calcium and phosphate in the body. These substances work in the immune system, bone health, and of course in the tooth structure. When you have enough vitamin D levels, you are less likely to have gum diseases and less enamel erosion. For a healthy diet, you should get 15 micrograms of vitamin D a day. (2)
For Vitamin D Intake
- Cod Liver Oil
Besides food supplements, sunshine is another source of vitamin D. When you are exposed to the sun’s UV light, they break the cholesterol cells in your skin and you get vitamin D. Beware of sunlight’s harmful side effects as well, as in long exposure they can lead to skin cancer and fastens the aging process.
Vitamin K2’s role is to accumulate calcium in the bloodstream and direct it in the right direction. It works cooperatively with Vitamin D. While vitamin D balances the calcium level in your blood, K2 directs it into the right path. We see a little amount of K2 production in our body through bacteria, but it is not enough. K2 is another important vitamin that needs to be included in your diet.
K2 Including Foods
- Egg yolks
- Chicken Liver
- Natto (Japanese food made of soya beans)
Deficiency of K2
When you do not have enough K2 vitamin, calcium that is normally needed for your teeth might not reach there, indirectly causing calcium deficiency in your teeth. Which is also good for your general health as well. Some other organs also benefit from calcium but they do not require that much calcium. K2 helps calcium to be in the right place preventing it accumulate in the wrong places and also directing it in the right path. Generally, we consume enough amount K2 which is found in most of our daily routine diet. (3)
The essential roles of magnesium are the absorption of calcium in your teeth and helping vitamin D. When you have enough magnesium vitamin D can do its role which is balancing the calcium levels in your blood. It is also important for your teeth the absorb calcium. You should consume 270-300 mg of magnesium daily to make sure the balance is established for calcium absorption in your teeth.
Magnesium Including Foods
We said that magnesium helps your teeth to absorb calcium. Without the magnesium, calcium reaches your mouth again, but this time it cannot reach the enamel but stays on your gum. It leads to an excessive calcification of your gum, essentially an infection. (4)
Phosphorus is an inevitable part of the remineralization process. It makes a connection with the magnesium and becomes a part of the bones and teeth. Calcium with the combination of phosphorus gives all the strength, durability, and protection to our teeth. Without phosphorus, we cannot talk about a strong structure. The daily amount of phosphorus you should take is 550 mg. You can get phosphorus from a variety of foods. Most of them should already be on your daily diet.
Phosphorus Including Foods
Phosphorus deficiency in our teeth might lead to chipping and breaking. Outer layers of teeth, enamel, and dentin, are made up of calcium phosphate a combination of calcium and phosphorus. When there is not enough phosphorus your dental structure loses its strength. The recommended daily amount of phosphorus intake is 700 mg. (5)
How to strengthen tooth enamel naturally?
There are different ways to strengthen your enamel. Enamel is made up of different minerals. If you follow balanced and healthy eating habits, it gets all the nutrients and you have strong teeth with strong enamel. You should be careful though while trying to follow a healthy diet. If you consume one type of food and not enough of others then you might still have problems. And there are absolute enemies of the tooth making it vulnerable and weak in time, which are acidic products. If you like to strengthen your enamel you should follow some steps.
Drinking water is an inevitable part of our lives. We cannot live without water. It is also essential for our dental health in different ways. It prevents dryness and rinses your mouth. Saliva, which is an important element in mineralization, is made up of 99% water. You should drink approximately 84.5 oz of water per day to keep yourself hydrated. (6)
Eat a variety of food
As we mentioned before we need different vitamins and minerals to protect our teeth’ structure. But what happens when you get enough amount of calcium but not enough vitamin D or phosphorus? We know how important calcium itself is, but the thing is, to see the effects of calcium, in other words, remineralization of teeth, you need different minerals working together. Calcium is dependent on vitamin D, phosphorus, and other minerals to work properly. When you do not have the regulators of calcium, it is most likely that you will still have problems with the remineralization process.
Eat less sugary foods
For healthy teeth, we are constantly fighting the bacteria in our mouths. If you stop feeding them they just starve and die. Sugar is the number one element in bacteria’s diet. When you eat sugary foods they feed on bacteria and create acidic leftovers eroding your enamel. If you like to improve your remineralization process, reduce your sugar intake.
Sugar-free gums help you clean your teeth with their sticky texture. And you can also benefit from Xylitol which is a sweetener. It increases saliva production and prevents your teeth from harmful bacteria. There are candies, gums, and mouth spray products that Xylitol included.
Keep away from acidic products
Citrus-Fruits are acidic foods like tomatoes, lemons, grapefruit, and oranges. When eaten a lot they tore down the enamel of teeth leading to cavities. They are not harmful as long as they are eaten as side meals or in lower amounts.
Drinks to avoid high consumption
We are no one to judge your drinking habits as you might be an office worker who cannot stand without caffeine, an athlete who needs to drink functional beverages to cover their water, and electrolytes, or just simply an alcohol lover. However, the drinks mentioned below are harmful to your dental health.
- Sport Drinks
1: Cormick G, Belizán JM. Calcium Intake and Health. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1606. Published 2019 Jul 15. doi:10.3390/nu11071606 Calcium Intake and Health – PubMed (nih.gov)
2: Dobson R, Cock HR, Brex P, Giovannoni G. Vitamin D supplementation. Pract Neurol. 2018;18(1):35-42. doi:10.1136/practneurol-2017-001720 Vitamin D supplementation – PubMed (nih.gov)
3: Southward K. A hypothetical role for vitamin K2 in the endocrine and exocrine aspects of dental caries. Med Hypotheses. 2015;84(3):276-280. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2015.01.011 A hypothetical role for vitamin K2 in the endocrine and exocrine aspects of dental caries – PubMed (nih.gov)
4: Uwitonze AM, Rahman S, Ojeh N, et al. Oral manifestations of magnesium and vitamin D inadequacy. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020;200:105636. doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105636 Oral manifestations of magnesium and vitamin D inadequacy – PubMed (nih.gov)
5: Calvo MS, Moshfegh AJ, Tucker KL. Assessing the Health Impact of Phosphorus in the Food Supply: Issues and Considerations123. Advances in Nutrition. 2014;5(1):104-113. doi:10.3945/an.113.004861 Assessing the Health Impact of Phosphorus in the Food Supply: Issues and Considerations (nih.gov)
6: Meinders AJ, Meinders AE. Hoeveel water moeten we eigenlijk drinken? [How much water do we really need to drink?]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2010;154:A1757. [How much water do we really need to drink?] – PubMed (nih.gov)