Did you know that your tooth enamel is the strongest material in your body? It helps you smile, speak, and most importantly, chew through all your favorite foods. However, even though it’s incredibly durable, your enamel can still wear away. How important is your enamel health, and what causes damage? Read to find out the answers as well as some steps you can take to protect your smile!
Your Tooth Enamel: More Than Just Looks
Your enamel is the strong material that coats each of your teeth. It has the integral job of protecting the more sensitive inner portion of the teeth called dentin. This part of your tooth contains lots of pain sensing nerves, which is why worn-down enamel causes discomfort and sensitivity. The positive is that enamel is naturally durable, which allows you to enjoy a strong and healthy smile with proper care. That said, once enamel deteriorates, it doesn’t grow back, making it vital that you maintain good oral hygiene.
What Causes Enamel Wear?
When you eat and drink, the bacteria in your mouth combines with the sugars you intake to create acids. This eats away at your enamel, which is a huge reason why it’s recommended that you brush twice a day. Items like coffee, citrus fruits, sour candy, and more can cause this to happen more rapidly. Additionally, enamel loss can occur through damage like chips or cracks. This can be caused by injury or teeth grinding, which weakens the enamel. Plus, your teeth go through natural wear each day, which is why you may notice some elderly people with smiles that appear shorter.
How to Protect Your Smile
Healthy enamel starts with a good at-home dental care routine. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. Be careful not to overwork your brush – gently massage your teeth instead of intensely scrubbing to avoid enamel wear. You should also floss once a day to clean away pesky food debris and bacteria that hang out in between your teeth. Plus, limiting your consumption of extra starchy, sugary, or acidic foods will lower your risk of enamel deterioration.
It’s also important that you visit your dentist at least twice a year. These appointments allow an expert to catch potential enamel wear while it is still minor, giving you a chance to prevent the issue from getting worse. Your dentist may recommend a nightguard if they notice teeth grinding to stop the chips, cracks, and wear that it causes.
You can never recover your enamel so you must protect it while you can! Now that you know the importance of enamel health, use these simple yet effective tips to keep your smile strong.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Martin T. Barco III is an experienced dentist who offers a variety of dental services that help Bloomington patients keep their enamel healthy. He takes pride in carrying on the tradition of quality dentistry that his father started. To schedule an appointment, Dr. Barco can be reached through his website or by phone at (812) 332-8290.