Do you know why your teeth are so resilient? It’s largely thanks to the layer of tooth enamel that covers the surface! While it has a reputation for being tough, tooth enamel is something you need to take care of to ensure it lasts throughout your lifetime! Protecting tooth enamel isn’t challenging, but it does require diligence!
Read on to learn more about protecting tooth enamel, why it’s important to safeguard, and how you can reduce erosion throughout your everyday life.
The Value of Protecting Tooth Enamel
Before any acid, bacteria or other damage can reach your teeth, they have to go through your enamel. This hard surface layer protects your teeth from daily assaults, even from foods or drinks we consider healthy! From soda to citrus fruits, sugar to tea, enamel stops these substances from damaging your teeth.
Without enamel, our teeth are vulnerable to decay. Because you only get one set of permanent teeth, this would greatly affect how long we could expect to have a healthy set of teeth – which would impact our longevity and ability to eat or even speak!
Instead, enamel takes the brunt of this erosion. And it can’t be regenerated! But enamel can be protected, which is why it’s important to take the steps needed to keep your enamel in its best condition possible.
How to Protect Tooth Enamel
Brush – But Not Too Frequently
Did you know that brushing your teeth too much can actually damage the enamel? While it’s good – and important – to regularly brush your teeth, you should take care that you aren’t brushing too often or with too much force.
While acidity and bacteria are the most common threats to your enamel, aggressive abrasion from over-brushing can wear it away just the same! Over-brushing can even cause your gums to recede, which could then lead to periodontal disease or sensitivity.
Avoid Damaging Foods or Drinks
Enamel erosion is most commonly caused by bacteria and acid due to your diet. If you like highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits, juices or carbonated drinks, the acid from these directly erodes your enamel. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them! But it’s important to do two things:
Enjoy in Moderation – In small amounts, these drinks and foods aren’t too problematic for your teeth.
Don’t Sip All Day – If you’re drinking soda or other acidic/sugary drinks, try not to sip away slowly throughout the day. By constantly reintroducing these substances to your teeth, you do more damage than if you drink it all in a shorter period, letting saliva or water wash away acids when you’re finished.
Don’t Whiten Too Frequently
Teeth whitening is a great (and safe) way to improve the look of your teeth! However, bleaching and whitening agents can be harsh on your tooth enamel. From in-office whitening to home whitening kits, you should only whiten your teeth as recommended by your dentist.
For most people, this means no whitening more frequently than once every six months or so. Any more than that, and you run the risk of developing tooth sensitivity due to weakening the enamel.
Stop Using Your Teeth as a Tool
Lastly, one of the best ways for protecting tooth enamel is to avoid using your teeth as a tool. It may seem convenient, but even a brief moment of contact between your teeth and a plastic or metal item can crack or break your enamel.
No matter how safe you are, these events will continue to weaken your enamel over your lifetime. When you start to be vigilant for using your teeth as a tool, you may notice you do it more often than you thought!
Do You Have Dental Health Questions? Schedule an Appointment!
If you have dental health concerns or just looking for information, the professionals at Walbridge Dental provide complete family dental care to families in the Millbury community. Contact us online to set up an appointment now or call us at 419-836-1033.
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