Remineralization helps to prevent decay and dental erosion by strengthening the enamel on your teeth. Now you can take the assessment and administer the treatment yourself at home.
I met the Practice Director of New Enamel at a recent workplace wellness meeting held at Collective Health and learned about remineralization as a way to preserve the health of my teeth. If you’re into preventative health and/or dislike going to the dentist for fear of what they might find, read on.
What is remineralization?
Remineralization is a natural repair process to restore non-cavitated lesions or in other words, demineralized lesions. Demineralized lesions are the earliest stage of tooth decay that can be repaired with a remineralization process and/or dental sealants to prevent cavities and other dental erosion.
Demineralization occurs everyday. The degree of demineralization depends on your diet, health and hygiene habits. Your risk factor for demineralization increases with:
- Consumption of sugary foods and drinks [aka: sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks and flavored water].
- Consumption of acidic foods and drinks such as citrus fruits, coffee and wine
- Consumptions of recreational drugs and/or prescription medications that cause dry mouth
- Medical disorders such as acid reflux, bulimia and Sjogren’s syndrome
Remineralizing your teeth is fairly easy. You can either have a professional fluoride treatment administered by your dentist and for those living in California, you can now order a kit from New Enamel tailored to your level of demineralization risk and administer the treatment yourself.
Each New Enamel kit comes with the prescription grade productions you need for six (6) months as well as tooth brushes and xylitol gum. Take the free online assessment to determine your level of risk and then purchase the kit. The medical risk of fluoride treatments is low, but if you are concerned consult your doctor.
How does the cost compare to a regular fluoride treatment?
The low risk kits comes with a 6 month supply of product and costs $29.95 [shipping included] which is about the same as a professional fluoride treatment. Extreme risk kits cost $169.95 for a 6 month supply of product which is a deal when you consider the cost of getting even one cavity filled.
Is it covered by your dental insurance?
Many dental plans do not cover fluoride treatments beyond the age of 14. However, both the New Enamel kit and the professional fluoride treatment are qualifying medical expenses for Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) and Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) which if you have one, gives you a pretax savings.
Over the counter products
If you’re living outside of California, you can purchase some of the over the counter products included in the kits such as the toothbrush, toothpaste [not included but recommended] and gum. These items are not qualifying medical expenses for HSA or MSA plans when purchased separately.
If you’re addicted to your electric toothbrush, there is no need to switch. Part of the value of the kit is getting everything needed to use the product in one kit.
There are some similar products that you might want to try too if you don’t like the taste or if you are brand loyal or love whitening toothpaste. Using an electric toothbrush and whitening paste does wonders for keeping your pearly whites white.
Continue seeing your dentist. The New Enamel kit does not replace the need for regular cleanings and checkups. In fact, fluoride treatments work best after a cleaning.