The Five Enemies of Tooth Enamel

It’s true: Enamel is the hardest substance in your body. However, it is not invincible! Our teeth are covered in enamel. It is the first line of defense against cavities and decay, the very substance that protects the interior, living parts of your tooth! No wonder it takes a beating! This all adds up to one fact: the better you take care of your tooth enamel, the longer you will get to keep your natural teeth! Fluoride is one way that we protect your tooth enamel, and even strengthen it. Fluoride has the ability to both protect your teeth from demineralization and re-mineralize it (strengthen the enamel).

In addition to using toothpaste with fluoride and having fluoride treatments in our office, here are five ways that you can help to protect your tooth enamel:

  1. Avoid and rinse after acid: Fruit juices, sodas and acidic fruits soften the enamel in your mouth, and are very bad for your teeth. So if you do enjoy one of these treats, rinse after you are done with it. DON’T brush immediately, as your enamel will be vulnerable to breakage for the next hour.
  2. Don’t chew things that aren’t food! If you have a habit of chewing things like pencils, ice, popcorn kernels and, yes, fingernails, PLEASE STOP! Your teeth were designed to grind and chew up food, not ultra hard substances. Chewing these items can chip away at enamel and even fracture a tooth.
  3. Cut back on sugar: There are many reasons why you should reduce your sugar intake, and among the most important is for the health of your teeth! Sugar reacts with bacteria to create acid, and we know how bad that is for your tooth enamel!
  4. Don’t be a teeth grinder. If you grind while you sleep, you are damaging your teeth enamel. Ask us about solutions to stop grinding!
  5. Be gentle. In general, you should be gentle with your teeth, even when brushing. You may think that you need to brush hard to get all of the sugar bugs out of your mouth, but it’s not true. Hard brushing can lead to chipped enamel.

If you take care of your tooth enamel, it will take care of you!