We are all familiar with toothpaste and of course use it everyday to clean our teeth. We do so because we know that otherwise a sticky film of plaque will accumulate on the teeth surfaces for long enough to do damage to tooth enamel and also gums.
Daily plaque removal is the mainstay of good oral hygiene and is just about the most important consideration when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy.
Over the last few decades there have been many different formulations of toothpastes, and, apart from the basic ingredients designed to clean and polish the teeth such as diatomaceous earth, there have often been other additives which were thought to provide further benefit. Some of these were designed to combat bacterial action in the plaque, some to prevent the bacterial plaque from adhering so well to enamel, some to whiten the teeth, some to freshen the breath, some to reduce sensitivity, and some to strengthen the enamel, of which fluoride is the best known.
“Demineralisation” Of Enamel
Research has been continuing and more recently attention has turned to other possible ingredients to help strengthen surface enamel, by encouraging remineralisation. Our teeth have an outer very hard layer of enamel which is made up of hydroxyapatite, which is a crystalline form of calcium phosphate arranged in a very specific way forming enamel “rods” or prisms which give it its enormous strength.
However, although tooth enamel is physically hard it is vulnerable to acid attack and the acid can come from the action of bacteria in plaque acting on sugars, or erosion via acidic drinks such as sodas, fruit juices, and red wine, for example.
The first stage in dental decay is acid attack on the outer surfaces as a result of bacterial activity and this has the effect of removing minerals from the enamel, often causing a whitish spot or area to become visible.
Ideally the tooth surface and the saliva in the mouth are in balance so that lost minerals from the tooth surface can be replaced by absorption of minerals naturally present in saliva. Since however our modern diet contains the potential to include a lot of acidic drinks and sugary foods the balance may be upset and the process of remineralisation may be unable to keep up with demineralisation.
This is especially so in areas of the teeth which are hard to clean, such as right in between them and around the fiddly parts of orthodontic appliances (braces). Thus more mineral ions may be dissolved away than are absorbed and this results in a net loss of minerals from the enamel surfaces leaving them microscopically slightly rough and irregular, and more vulnerable to dental decay.
This Is Where Tooth Mousse Comes In…
It is to help restore the demineralised enamel of teeth surfaces that products such as Tooth Mousse have been developed. They have the capacity to improve the surface appearance of a tooth where white patches have appeared, and to fill in on a microscopic level, tiny pits and fissures due to loss of surface enamel.
So it has 2 major benefits of:
- Reversing and preventing early decay
- Reducing sensitivity
GC Tooth Mousse comes in 35 ml tubes and is a water-based, sugar-free topical cream much like a toothpaste, and containing the proprietary ingredient Recaladent (CCP-ACP) which is derived from casein present in milk.
GC MI Paste Plus is another product, developed after the Mousse. It has the added benefits of bringing fluoride into the mix.
The formulation of Tooth Mousse allows it to deliver calcium and phosphate into the tooth structure in order to help to repair and strengthen enamel, as well as an amount of fluoride too. The manufacturers recommend it be used by orthodontic patients to prevent enamel white spots appearing on teeth in the first place, and to improve the appearance of teeth already affected by mineral loss.
This video helps explain its development.
Using the Mousse
It is simple to apply Tooth Mousse by just rubbing it lightly over the teeth with a finger or soft brush.
Tooth Mousse Plus is recommended only for use by patients above the age of six years because of the amount of fluoride contained, but there is also a formula without the fluoride for young patients. Anyone known to be allergic to milk proteins or benzoate preservatives shouldn’t use the product.
This product has a neutral pH and won’t contribute in any way to acid attack on teeth, but will instead help them to become more resistant to decay and have a better appearance by preventing or improving white spots.
It’s best to apply the mousse in the evening after cleaning the teeth and before going to bed, since the reduced saliva flow during sleep helps to maximise the benefit. It is applied for 2-3 minutes and then any excess should be spat out leaving just a thin coating on the teeth. It is safe enough if any (small amount) is swallowed.
Thus Tooth Mousse (and MI Paste Plus) is an excellent way to tip the balance back in favor of strong, healthy tooth enamel, especially for younger people whose teeth surfaces may not be as hard as that of the more elderly, and also with those whose diet includes a number of foodstuffs which could have a deleterious effect on teeth.
Research has paid off in the development of an excellent product!