Enamel is the protective covering on teeth; it is extremely hard (but not invincible); it is clear so you can’t see if it’s still there; and most importantly, once it is damaged it cannot repair itself … and once it is gone, it will not regenerate. There are many things you can do to help maintain healthy tooth enamel; your dentist is a great source of solutions as well as care to protect tooth enamel.
Things that Can Damage Dental Enamel
Sugar – you can enjoy the occasional sugary treat, but be aware that the bacteria on teeth thrive on sugar so rinse thoroughly following consumption. Acidic foods can erode enamel as well. Limit the foods known to damage enamel in your diet.
Acid reflux, regurgitation, and vomiting produce acids that can eat away at dental enamel. People suffering from eating disorders often face dental decay as a side effect.
Lack of saliva allows bacteria to remain on teeth instead of flushing it away naturally. If you suffer from a dry mouth, your dentist can help diagnose and find a solution.
Grinding and teeth clenching can have a serious impact on dental health. Often starting subconsciously during periods of sleep, grinding can become a habit that can seriously damage dental enamel. A solution might be to wear a night guard to eliminate grinding.
Incorrect brushing or using the wrong tools can lead to enamel damage. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste; you do not need to scrub teeth … even pressure working in a circular motion cleaning a few teeth at a time is best. Brush for two minutes twice every day.
Tips to Protect Enamel
Obviously a good daily oral hygiene regimen coupled with visits to the dentist every six months (or as recommended) are your first lines of defense in enamel protection.
Your daily diet plays a significant role in dental health. Learn which foods and beverages damage teeth; limit or avoid them altogether. If you do consume, rinse your teeth thoroughly when through. Wait an hour before brushing as many foods soften dental enamel; brushing too soon can do more harm than good.
Stay hydrated with water; use a straw when drinking sugary or carbonated beverages.
Dental decay can result from damaged or diminished enamel so do whatever you can to protect it. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today.