The thin outer layer covering of our tooth is called the enamel. It is there to protect our teeth from daily use such as chewing and grinding and to insulate them from painful temperatures and chemicals. While it is not unusual that our enamel experiences some wear and tear, there are other factors that can be avoided to keep our tooth enamel strong. Damage done to our enamel (i.e. enamel erosion) is permanent and that is why it is important to keep our enamel strong.
Things You Can Do To Keep Enamel Strong:
- Hold off on the sugar. If you want to reach for a sugary drink, know that sugar leads to the production acids in the mouth, which eventually wears away at the enamel. Chewy candies are probably the most dangerous of them all as they can stick to the teeth easier.
- Load up on the calcium. Calcium neutralizes acids in our mouth. Dairy such as milk and cheese will help strengthen the enamel. If you drink orange juice, opt to get orange juice with added calcium so it will help neutralize some of the acidity in the orange juice.
- Don’t overbrush. Over-brushing can wear down the enamel. It is recommended to use a soft brush and brush gently. If you are eating sweets or citric fruits and wish to brush right afterward, refrain until the enamel has hardened. Brushing right after eating sweets or citric fruits may make your teeth susceptible to damage because these foods will have temporarily soften your enamel from the acidity in them.
- Pools. When pools are not chlorinated properly, the water may become too acidic. Teeth exposed to pool water can cause enamel erosion. If you do not know the pH level of the pool you’re swimming in, it is recommended that you keep your mouth closed while swimming.
- Saliva is our friend. In addition to breaking down food, saliva also neutralizes acidic foods. Drinking water, chewing on sugar-free gum or hard candy are all ways t keep your mouth moist and stimulate saliva production.
Lastly, it is important to come in and see your dental professional at least twice a year. They’ll help remove those surface stains and make sure your enamel is nice and strong. Contact Greenspoint Dental to schedule that appointment today!