Can Dentists Grow Back Your Tooth Enamel?

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Some dental literature mentions that lost tooth enamel can be regrown by using specific toothpaste and mouthwashes regularly. It’s time to debunk this speculation. But first, let’s understand why teeth enamel is vital to oral and general health.

The first thing people observe when you smile is your teeth, and healthy pearly whites ensure a great smile. According to many dental care professionals, the best way to maintain that glint in your teeth is to take proper care of your teeth’s enamel.

Why Teeth Enamel Care Is Important

Enamel is nothing but a tooth cover that protects the delicate dentin tissues inside your tooth. The thin outer layer wears down over time due to eating, chewing, sipping liquids. As the enamel thins out, you experience extreme dental sensitivity while eating hot and cold foods. People experience a sharp jolt of pain the moment they eat something. Additionally, the translucent tooth enamel begins yellowing out due to chipped and stained enamel.

So, when dental care products such as toothpaste, mouthwashes, and dental guards filled with a squishy paste claim to restore chipped enamel, we are left scratching our heads. These products might help protect and strengthen your enamel, but they cannot make your enamel grow back. Once your tooth’s enamel erodes, it’s gone forever.

Our body has this fascinating ability to repair itself. Scars and broken bones heal and nails, and hair regrow. Tooth enamel doesn’t regrow. Period.

The reason the tooth enamel doesn’t regrow is that it’s not living tissue. As it isn’t a living tissue, enamel doesn’t naturally regenerate. Enamel is also the sturdiest tissue in the human body. Regrettably, enamel doesn’t artificially regrow using any toothpaste or gel.

How To Revitalize Enamel

However, all’s not lost as there are some special dental products that might re-mineralize worn down enamel. According to Dr. Mark Wolff, a dentistry professor at the New York University, “You can’t regrow tooth enamel, but you can remineralize it.” Dr. Wolff, who is also an upwave review-board member, further explains, “That’s what these [toothpastes] actually do… They push calcium and phosphates back into the tooth, and it hardens the enamel,” reported website WebMD.

As always, the magic ingredient is fluoride. When acid from our food and drinks leech away the minerals (calcium and phosphates) out of the teeth, fluoride from these special toothpaste captures the leeched minerals from the saliva. The minerals re-mineralize your damaged enamel by forcing the worn-down minerals back into the tooth. The fluorides help strengthen the existing enamel.

In case you are wondering about your enamel health while also simultaneously suffering from painful cavities, dentists have a non-permanent fix for that. Plastic sealants that bond to dental enamel are added to the affected tooth to provide an additional layer of protection.

Interestingly though, scientists from Kinki University in Japan have made an incredible biofilm that acts as an enamel substitute. Hydroxyapatite is the biomaterial that makes up the natural enamel on our tooth. The scientists have made a thin film that works as an adapted hydroxyapatite, which the dentists can wrap around the affected tooth as an enamel substitute.

Many dentists, including Dr. Wolff, however, remain skeptical. “Hydroxyapatite is a complex crystal. You can’t just stuff it onto the outside of the tooth and make it stick there. [Maybe] in the future with nanotechnology, we can find a way to grow crystals on the outside of the tooth that are part of the actual tooth or bonded onto it, but at this particular moment we have nothing like that,” reported WebMD.

How To Maintain Enamel Health

The adage, “Prevention is better than cure,” will help preserve your enamel’s health. Maintaining regular dental hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing is a must. Consequently, you’ll also have to avoid harmful dietary practices, including consuming carbonated sodas and sweets that directly erode the enamel. Acidic drinks like certain fruit juices (orange juice) and hot tea with lemon juice also add to the enamel erosion as acid abrades minerals.

As Dr. Wolff explains, “If it tastes tart, it’s an acid — and that’s a problem. We’re seeing more abrasion too… When you brush your teeth after drinking orange juice, you soften your tooth with the acid, then add a layer of abrasion on top of that… You abrade and erode at the same time.”

You shouldn’t stop drinking your favorite beverages. Just alter the way you sip these drinks. Use a straw while drinking acidic beverages to push them away from our teeth to the back of our mouth. Also, remember to neutralize and wash off this acid from your mouth by rinsing with clean water once you’re done sipping your beverage.

Some dental care professionals also recommend chewing sugar-free gum for extra protection as it boosts saliva production. Saliva contains minerals that strengthen teeth. Additionally, if your gum contains xylitol, it will help neutralize the acid in the foods and beverages you consume.

Dentists also suggest exercising caution while using over-the-counter teeth-whitening products as most of the bleaching agents are highly acidic. The acid, which will whiten your teeth, will also erode your enamel quickly. Moderation is the key.

Falling prey to immaculately designed marketing campaigns is a common phenomenon but don’t be quick to believe everything you see. If you feel twinges of pain while eating or drinking hot and cold food, schedule a visit to your dentist’s office as soon as possible.

 

 

 

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