Dental fillings do not last forever. Eventually, the tooth that surrounds them may become further decayed and your filling may fall out. While there is no getting around replacing your filling, there are options for reducing further damage. One way to aid in the prevention of additional cavities is remineralization. Remineralization provides needed minerals to the teeth, allowing them to maintain strength or even become stronger. Several methods may help remineralise your teeth.
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Things you need
- Fluoride-containing products
- Casein-containing products
- Mineral supplements
Ask your dentist if you need an additional fluoride treatment or a mouth rinse that contains fluoride. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride is effective in remineralising teeth. In addition to treatments your dentist provides and mouth rinses, fluoride can be found in most toothpastes and many local water supplies.
Chew gum or brush your teeth with a toothpaste that contains casein, a by-product of cows' milk. Casein provides minerals in a soluble form that can be absorbed by your teeth -- in conjunction with fluoride treatment or when used alone. Several types of toothpaste and chewing gum contain casein derivatives. Check with your dentist to determine whether these products may be of benefit.
Adjust your mealtime behaviours. Snacking between meals and drinking sugary or acidic drinks can further erode tooth enamel and cause additional fillings to fall out. Brush your teeth after you eat, and drink only water between meals.
Give your diet a makeover. Deficiencies in minerals, such as zinc, iron and magnesium, can cause tooth decay and lost fillings. Eat more leafy green vegetables and other foods rich in minerals. If your diet doesn't provide enough minerals, consider taking a mineral supplement.
Tips and warnings
- If you can't get to a dentist right away, there are several over-the-counter dental repair kits that include an oral pain medication and material with which to make a temporary filling.
- Fillings often provide structural support, and the loss of a filling can leave the tooth vulnerable to breakage or further damage. To minimise the risk of permanent damage, see a dentist as soon as possible after losing a filling.
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