As the hardest substance in the body, you might think tooth enamel is also indestructible. Not so! In fact, damage to tooth enamel is often gradual, but irreversible – and leads to a whole host of other oral health problems.
The flipside of this, however, is that preserving healthy tooth enamel goes a long way in optimizing your overall dental health. And it’s not difficult, either!
Read on to learn what tooth enamel is, how it works, tips to preserve it, and signs that it’s wearing down. Then, contact Russo Dentistry in Raleigh to start creating your personalized dental care plan today!
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Made up of only the strongest minerals, tooth enamel is the translucent outer covering of your teeth that gives them their shine. It serves as a barrier between the elements and you—keeping your smile cleaner, brighter, whiter, and significantly stronger.
Because a human jaw can exert 150 lbs of force, it’s not only useful, but imperative that teeth are coated in enamel! Without it, the softer tooth interior is prone to sensitivity and damage as well as permanent staining.
How Do I Care for Tooth Enamel?
Proper care and protection of your natural enamel is just a matter of general dental care. At Russo Dentistry, we find these principles bear repeating no matter how many times you’ve heard them! They include brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once daily, and attending regularly scheduled checkups and dental cleanings with your dentist.
What is Acid Erosion and How Do I Prevent It?
Your dental health provider should suggest a more thoughtful approach to teeth enamel preservation over time. That’s because the main cause of worn-down enamel is acid erosion, which results from the intake of sugary food and drink (even natural sugar found in fruits!) and/or excessive pressure on the teeth.
Preventing acid erosion is more about what not to do. For instance, you should take care to avoid brushing your teeth with a lot of force. You should also avoid excessively sugary or astringent food and drink, including soft drinks and other sweets. When consuming natural sugar – as found in apples, strawberries, bananas, etc. – remember not to brush your teeth immediately afterward.
Instead, use about as much pressure as you’d need to write with a pen, and opt for a soft-bristled brush to create gentle, circular motions. Wait for about 30 minutes between eating sugary foods and brushing your teeth again, and consume foods rich in phosphate and calcium to replenish the primary minerals that make up tooth enamel.
How Can I Tell if My Tooth Enamel Is Eroding?
Warning signs of tooth enamel erosion include: sensitivity to certain foods and temperatures, discoloration, cracks, chips, or indentations in your teeth. Of course, these changes can be slight and hard to detect, so (as always!) be sure to schedule a thorough teeth cleaning and inspection with your dentist every 6 months.
If you suspect your teeth enamel is starting to erode – or if you simply want to prevent it! – contact your modern dental office in Raleigh, NC today.