According to WebMD, tooth enamel, which is the thin outer covering of the tooth, is one of the hardest tissue present in the human body. Enamel is an important component of your teeth because it covers the visible portion of the tooth and it protects your teeth from the things you do every day such as biting into things, grinding food and chewing. Another thing that enamel does for your teeth is to protect them from sensitivity to hot, cold and chemicals. Knowing how to protect your tooth enamel is an important part of overall oral health.
Protect Your Enamel
Enamel has no living cells, so if you damage it, it cannot repair itself. Enamel is eroded by:
- High consumption of phospohoric and citric acid such as those found in soft drinks.
- Fruit juices
- Xerostomia (dry mouth)
- Sugary diet
- Acid reflux
Some of the other causes may be out of your control, such as genetics that cause your enamel to wear more easily than another person’s. However, there are some things you can control that will keep your mouth healthy for many years.
Steps to Protect Your Enamel
Protect your tooth enamel by making conscious decisions about foods to ingest and behaviors that will protect your teeth.
- Eat less sugar – This one can be a challenge because we all love a sweet or two, but sugar is hard on your teeth. Sugar turns into an acid in your mouth and attaches to your tooth enamel and erodes it. Extremely sticky treats stick to your teeth worse than ones that are less sticky as well. So, if you must indulge in sugar, stay away from chewy candies, such as caramels and taffy.
- Limit soda – Soda has sugar and acid and is very hard on tooth enamel. Limit the number of soft drinks you consume and when you do consume them do so with a straw.
- Add calcium to your diet – Calcium helps protect your teeth from acids in the mouth. Add cheese, milk and yogurt to protect your teeth.
- Use a soft tooth brush – Brushing too hard or with a hard brush can also wear your tooth enamel down. Instead, choose a soft bristle brush and brush in gentle, circular motions.
If you have any concerns about your enamel, our staff can answer any questions you have and give you more ideas for keeping your teeth healthy and strong for the long-term.