Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities and tooth decay. Despite its strength, tooth enamel can be eroded, and leave your teeth susceptible to oral disease. But, you can take some simple steps to keep your enamel healthy, and help protect your teeth in the future.
What is Tooth Enamel?
Tooth enamel is the first line of defense your teeth have against plaque and cavities. It is the white, visible part of the tooth and it is also the hardest part of the human body.
When enamel is damaged, it can appear discolored and leave the affected teeth very sensitive.
What Hurts Enamel?
There are many factors that cause enamel erosion, but, most of the damage is done by the foods and drinks that you consume. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), soft drinks are the most frequent source of erosive acids, due to their high acidity and frequency of consumption. Other drinks like fruit juice, sports drinks and energy drinks can also damage your teeth through acidic erosion.
Certain ailments and health conditions can also erode your tooth enamel. People who suffer from gastro esophageal acid reflux disease (GERD) can also experience tooth enamel erosion, and certain medications are also known to erode tooth enamel.
Protect Your Enamel
Brush and Floss Regularly
Food debris left on your teeth encourages bacteria growth that eats away at enamel and causes cavities. This is why it’s important to brush twice per day, for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day to clean debris from the hard-to-reach areas of your teeth.
Drink More Water
Water is a fantastic tool in the fight against acid erosion. Water is not acidic, and does not harm tooth enamel. It also improves saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth of debris and restores the mouth back to a healthy ph balance.
Rinse after Meals
A great way to remove food debris from your teeth is by rinsing immediately after meals. Simply swish clean water in your mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit it out in a sink.
Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugar feeds the bacteria on your teeth, causing plaque and ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the number of sugary foods and drinks that you consume. Before buying snacks, check the back of the package for the amount of sugar contained in the package. Try to avoid sugary drinks like soda, fruit juice and sports drinks, all of which are notoriously high in sugar.
Have Questions about Your Child’s Smile?
Visit our office so that we can evaluate your child’s overall oral health. We check and document the state of your child’s tooth enamel as a part of our regular checkups, and we will help give you and your child the knowledge necessary to keep a healthy, lifelong smile. Call us today to schedule your child’s first appointment, which will be relaxing and informal.