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Family Care Dental Clinic

How to Never Get a Cavity: Remineralization 101

How to Never Get a Cavity: Remineralization 101

For years, we’ve been told to brush and floss. Why? To prevent a cavity of course! But cavities are actually a nutrition problem first and a hygiene problem second. Scraping away with a toothbrush and floss, while eating a cavity-promoting diet is like leaving the sink on full blast while frantically trying to mop up the floor—it just isn’t the right way to handle the problem.

If you are struggling with constant cavities, the answer may lie in your diet. In this article, we will learn about our teeth’s natural abilities to resist cavities, and why what we eat is the greatest deciding factor as to whether we get cavities (not oral hygiene).

How Teeth Protect Themselves from Cavities

Most people think of teeth as a hard structure, but you should think of a tooth like a sponge—things can go in and out. A tooth can gain minerals and it can lose minerals—think of those minerals as traveling in and out of that sponge.

As long as teeth gain minerals (remineralize) faster than they lose minerals (demineralize), they fight off decay and stay healthy. When teeth demineralize faster than they can remineralize, you get tooth decay. There are foods that promote demineralization (decay) and there are foods that promote remineralization (protecting against decay).

When you floss and brush, you’re not actively helping the tooth remineralize. Oral hygiene helps disorganize plaque and tartar (and prevent it from building up). This is why diet trumps hygiene when it comes to the formation of a cavity.

Why Your Diet Is More Important than a Toothbrush and Floss

Take cheese, for example. Cheese is rich in vitamins and minerals which nourish a tooth both from inside and outside the tooth. When you chew on a piece of cheese, minerals are made available to teeth so they can remineralize themselves. The vitamins in cheese nourish teeth from the inside, making them better at remineralization. Our modern diet of processed and high glycemic index foods provide a double whammy to teeth—increasing demineralization while also hurting a tooth’s ability to remineralize.

Foods That Promote De-mineralization:

  • Saltine and Ritz crackers
  • Oatmeal and cereals (high in phytic acid)
  • Processed foods
  • Sugary yogurt
  • Sugary drinks
  • Bread
  • All high glycemic index foods

Foods That Promote Re-mineralization:

  • Raw and grass-fed cheese and butter
  • Eggs
  • Natto
  • Grass-fed meats and poultry
  • Dark, leafy greens like swiss chard and spinach
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Avocado
  • Green and white tea

The right foods nourish a tooth so that they are better at remineralization and also provide teeth the minerals that they’ve lost and must regain through remineralization.

Certain diets promote more plaque on teeth than others—and it’s much more complex than just sugary foods. Certain foods promote the wrong bacteria in the mouth. This is when the remineralization process is overwhelmed.

Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!

We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family. Our dentists can help everyone in your family understand the importance of proper oral hygiene over time and the positive effects it has on your health. At Family Care Dental Clinic, we treat our clients to a soothing environment where they can receive quality dental care no matter what their needs are. Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!

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