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What is Remineralizing Toothpaste?

By I. Ong
Updated May 17, 2024
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Acidic food, substances, and other factors encountered in everyday life cause the gradual loss of vital minerals from the teeth. Losing these essential minerals lead to the teeth eroding and slowly dissolving over time, leaving unsightly and painful cavities. Remineralizing toothpaste is toothpaste with ingredients that allow it to assist in restoring minerals directly to the teeth.

Bacterial acids, consumption of acidic food, tooth bleaching, brushing teeth, and the act of chewing contribute to tooth demineralization. The body has its own self-repair mechanism to counteract this through saliva, which contains calcium and phosphorus ions that rebuild tooth structure — a process called natural remineralization. This built-in mechanism may not be sufficient in the age of concentrated sugar and processed food, thus requiring enhancement of the remineralization.

Remineralizing toothpaste is typically recommended for its restorative qualities for the teeth. It contains a synthetic mineral called NovaMin®, which contains calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and silica. The sodium allows the minerals to crystallize on the tooth surface, where they can then form a layer similar in both structure and composition to natural tooth enamel. These minerals are released from the toothpaste upon making contact with moisture. The new mineral layer then acts to both repair and protect the existing tooth enamel.

Generally, remineralizing toothpaste will contain a higher alkaline value in order to counteract the acids eroding the teeth. It may also contain other ingredients found in ordinary toothpaste. Among these is the abrasive agent, usually silica compounds, that allows for abrasive action on plaque and food on the teeth, as well as polishing the tooth surface. Some others are the antiseptic agent that acts to inhibit the growth of plaque, the sweetening agent that makes the toothpaste palatable to the taste, the flavoring agent that adds flavor to the toothpaste, fluoride that strengthens the teeth, the humectant that keeps the toothpaste moist, and the binding agent that holds these ingredients together.

Remineralizing toothpaste has been found to have a positive effect on individuals who suffering from sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth can occur when erosion of tooth enamel leads to the exposure of the tubules within the teeth that lead to the nerves. When these tubules are exposed, substances or even air touching the tubules can send pain signals to the nerve beneath the tooth. Remineralizing toothpaste can rebuild a layer over these tubules and protect them from contact with food, drinks, or air.

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Discussion Comments

By anon930948 — On Feb 06, 2014

You lost me at fluoride. Why ruin a good product with fluoride?

By accordion — On Jul 19, 2011

@stolaf23 - Another point is the risk of over-brushing. I was warned of this when I was teenager, because brushing too hard or even for too long can weaken both your teeth and your gums, causing pain and wearing away protective enamel.

By stolaf23 — On Jul 18, 2011

I am a little wary of toothpaste that supposedly has any sort of medical or nutritional effect. I support dental hygiene and think it is very important, but there is a fair amount of research that says what we eat-the nutrients but also how natural the foods we eat are- can have even more impact on tooth health, cavities, and overall sensitivity than toothpaste. I don't know if this is really true, but since I stopped eating almost any processed or premade foods at all, my teeth feel much stronger and less sensitive.

By poppyseed — On Jul 18, 2011

Is remineralizing toothpaste the same thing as what is branded sensitive toothpaste on the shelf? Because if it is, I am here to stand up and say that stuff really works.

My teeth have always been extraordinarily sensitive, though I’m not sure what causes this. You can forget about me biting into an ice cream cone or crunching on ice. That causes major pain for my poor little choppers.

Since those little choppers' nerve endings are attached to my body, we just don’t put ourselves through that kind of horrific experience. I will say that sometimes I look longingly at those folks who just bite right in!

But, although I still don’t dare to do these kinds of things, toothpaste for sensitive teeth truly does help tremendously.

By JessiC — On Jul 17, 2011

I thought that once the enamel was gone from your teeth, it was just gone and that there was nothing to be done about it. My dentist told me that, actually.

So I’m a little surprised to hear that there is a remineralizing toothpaste.

I’ve always taken really good care of my teeth, but I was very sick during both of my pregnancies and it took a toll on them. The doctor said it was because I wasn’t retaining enough nutrients for myself, but giving them all to the baby.

As a result I have three small cavities now and major sensitivity issues. Anything too hot or too cold is just not a pleasant experience.

I might have to give this toothpaste a try! I’d love to repair some of that damage if I could.

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