Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body — it’s even harder than bone!
Even though enamel is so tough, however, there are a number of factors that can cause it to erode, making you vulnerable to dental problems. If your tooth enamel has eroded, is there anything you can do to restore it? How can you prevent further enamel loss?
Causes of Enamel Erosion
Quite a few things can cause your tooth enamel to erode. These include sugary or acidic foods, teeth grinding due to stress, or having a dry mouth. Genetic considerations and acid reflux can also come into play. Even when the cause of enamel erosion is beyond your control, however, there are still steps you can take to protect your teeth.
Strengthen and Protect the Enamel You Have
It is important to understand that once enamel is gone, it can’t be brought back. However, it is possible to strengthen and even repair remaining enamel. Working to get your enamel back in good shape can make your teeth less sensitive and prevent major dental procedures down the road.
You can strengthen your enamel via a process called “remineralization,” which involves applying calcium and fluoride to your teeth to repair weak spots. You should also do the following:
- Have a good dental care routine. Use products designed specifically to strengthen enamel. You can ask your dentist for recommendations on which toothpaste and mouthwash are best.
- Eat a healthy diet that is rich in minerals. Foods such as dairy products, bone broth, and vegetables benefit your enamel.
- If the enamel erosion is severe, your dentist might recommend installing a crown. This will protect your tooth, restore its structure, and prevent further damage. Tooth-bonding is another common option.
Prevent Enamel Erosion
The best way to care for your tooth enamel is to adopt healthy practices that will prevent damage :
- Cut back on sugary and acidic drinks. This can include things like soda — yes, even diet soda — coffee, and fruit juice. When you do drink these beverages, try to use a straw so the liquid goes straight to the back of your mouth and bypasses your teeth.
- Chew sugar-free gum. Chewing gum encourages saliva production, and the saliva contains important minerals for your teeth. Try to find a gum that has xylitol in it.
- Drink more water. This can help you deal with a dry mouth and cut back on the acidity in your mouth after you eat meals and snacks.
- Get your teeth cleaned regularly . Dental professionals can deep-clean your mouth, getting rid of any trapped substances that might be damaging your teeth. You should get your teeth cleaned at least once a year.
- Be careful when you brush your teeth. Brushing too hard can damage the enamel.
Enamel is your teeth’s first line of defense against damage, so it is important that you do all you can to keep it in good shape. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine and see your dentist regularly so that your smile can stay as stunning as possible.
Image via Flickr by Leonid Mamchenkov