How To Protect Tooth Enamel
We have compiled this article on “How To Protect Tooth Enamel”. The reference links are at the bottom of the article.
The surface of your teeth is called enamel. It helps protect them from decay. Some wear and tear is normal, but there’s plenty you can do to keep that barrier strong. Take these simple steps for a healthy mouth and a winning smile.
1. Limit Sugary Foods And Drinks
Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar from foods and drinks. Then they make acids, which soften and wear away your enamel. Chewy candies that stick to your teeth can also cause damage. Soft drinks may have extra acids.
Soft drinks with artificial sweeteners are a smarter choice than ones with sugar, but they’re also acidic and will wear down enamel over time.
The best choice when you’re thirsty? A glass of plain water. Many flavored drinks of water are acidic.
2. Eat Foods That Protect Enamel
Calcium in food counters acids in your mouth that cause decay. It also helps keep your bones and teeth strong.
Milk, cheese, and other dairy products help protect and strengthen enamel, says Pamela L. Quinones, past president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Choose low-fat or fat-free items to help keep calories down.
If you don’t eat dairy, look for foods with calcium added.
3. Avoid Over-Brushing
You can wear down your enamel if you brush too fast and hard. Hold a brush with a soft bristle at about a 45-degree angle to your gums. Then move it back and forth in short, gentle strokes, about the distance of one tooth.
Wait for up to an hour after eating sweets or citrus fruits before you brush your teeth. Acidic foods can soften enamel and may make it easier for you to damage it.
4. Use Fluoride
The American Dental Association (ADA) calls fluoride “nature’s cavity fighter” because it strengthens your enamel and helps repair the early stages of tooth decay. Fluoride also makes your teeth more resistant to acids that come from foods and from bacteria in your mouth.
The ADA recommends fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears and throughout your life. Rinsing with a mouthwash that has fluoride can also help prevent cavities and keep your enamel strong.
5. Treat Heartburn And Eating Disorders
If you have severe heartburn, stomach acids may escape and eventually reach your mouth, where they can erode enamel. The eating disorder bulimia, in which people vomit food after they eat, is another threat to your enamel.
If you have either condition, talk to your doctor about treatment.
6. Beware Of Chlorinated Pools
When swimming pools aren’t chlorinated properly, the water may become too acidic. When that happens, the water can damage teeth that get wet.
Check with the recreation center or gym where you swim to make sure the pool’s chlorine levels are checked regularly. While swimming, keep your mouth closed so your teeth don’t get wet.
7. Watch Out For Dry Mouth
Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria that can lead to cavities. It also fights the effects of acidic foods. Drink water often to keep your mouth clean and moist.
If you exercise hard, be sure to rehydrate during and after your workout. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy can also help keep saliva flowing in your mouth.
Some medical conditions and medications can cause dry mouth. Talk to your doctor about treatments.
8. Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
Some people grind their upper and lower teeth together, especially at night. Over time it can wear down the enamel.
Talk to your dentist if you’ve got the grinding habit. They may suggest a custom-fitted mouth guard that can protect your teeth.
7 Daily Ways To Protect Your Teeth
Some say the eyes are the window to the soul. But if you really want to know what someone’s about, check their smile. A welcoming show of pearly whites makes a great first impression, while a tight-lipped smile or whiff of bad breath does the opposite.
Brush Two Times A Day For Two Minutes
Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, says the American Dental Association (ADA). This will keep your teeth in top form. Brushing your teeth and tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste cleans food and bacteria from your mouth. Brushing also washes out particles that eat away at your teeth and cause cavities.
A Morning Brush Fights Morning Breath
The mouth is 98.6ºF (37ºC). Warm and wet, it’s filled with food particles and bacteria. These lead to deposits called plaque. When it builds up, it calcifies, or hardens, on your teeth to form tartar, also called calculus. Not only does tartar irritate your gums, it can lead to gum disease as well as cause bad breath. Be sure to brush in the morning to help get rid of the plaque that’s built up overnight.
If you brush more than twice a day, for longer than four minutes total, you could wear down the enamel layer that protects your teeth.
When tooth enamel isn’t there, it exposes a layer of dentin. Dentin has tiny holes that lead to nerve endings. When these are triggered, you might feel all sorts of pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 20 percentTrusted Source of American adults have experienced pain and sensitivity in their teeth.
It’s also possible to brush too hard. Brush your teeth like you’re polishing an eggshell. If your toothbrush looks like someone sat on it, you’re applying too much pressure.
Enamel is strong enough to protect teeth from everything that goes on inside your mouth, from eating and drinking to beginning the digestive process. Children and teens have softer enamel than adults, leaving their teeth more prone to cavities and erosion from food and drink.
Want to avoid minimal scraping at your next checkup? Flossing loosens the particles that brushing misses. It also removes plaque, and in so doing prevents the buildup of tartar. While it’s easy to brush plaque away, you need a dentist to remove tartar.
It Doesn’t Matter When You Do It
You finally have an answer to the age-old question: “Which comes first, flossing or brushing?” It doesn’t matter, according to the ADA, as long as you do it every day.
Sip All Day, Get Decay” is a campaign from the Minnesota Dental Association to warn people of the dangers of soft drinks. It’s not just sugar soda, but diet soda, too, that harms teeth. The acid in soda attacks teeth. Once acid eats away at the enamel, it goes on to create cavities, leaves stains on the tooth surface, and erodes the inside structure of the tooth. To avoid drinking-related tooth decay, limit soft drinks and take good care of your teeth.
Thank you for reading this article, and check back frequently for other dental health articles. Should you have any questions, please contact Apple Tree Dental today!
Article compiled by Apple Tree Dental
Article reference links
- https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/tooth-enamel-damage ↑