Protecting Your Protection: Ways to Care for Your Tooth Enamel

Forest Smiles – The Best Dentist in Lynchburg, VA

Tooth enamel is your first and last line of defense against the outside world.  It is like a force field, shielding your teeth from external physical damage, protecting it from extreme changes in temperature, and combating some of the harmful effects of chemical reactions from the foods you eat.  It is considered the hardest substance in the human body.  However mighty, tooth enamel does have a major flaw; susceptibility to the damages caused by erosion.


Tooth enamel, like most hard substances, are vulnerable to the constant pressure of rubbing and pushing against each other.  For as hard as these substances are, they will break down with time.  The same can be seen in our geological history, as time and pressure cause the outer layers of rocks to erode and break down.  Unfortunately, once erosion sets in, and your tooth enamel fades away and it’s gone forever.  It is one of the few things in the body that doesn’t grow back, such as skin, and hair.


It is paramount, then, that you protect your protection as much as possible from the harmful effects of erosion.  First, to know how to protect and prevent, we must know how erosion can take place.  First, grinding your teeth is a sure way to cause erosion.  If by habit, or if it is from overuse of eating, grinding your teeth will quickly cause your force field to vanish.  Also, eating highly acidic foods, can cause the enamel on your teeth to erode.  Foods such candy, honey and sugary foods as well as liquids such as sodas, fruit juices, and soft drinks are such examples.


In order to keep your enamel strong and healthy there are several actions to take.   For one, your water consumption is very of the utmost importance.  Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water serves two purposes: rinsing your mouth of the acidic substances and preventing buildup of food on or between the teeth.  Next step is to reduce the amount of acidic foods you ingest.  Another prevention method is to follow your recommended brushing and flossing of twice and once daily respectively.  Believe it or not, chewing gum of the sugar free sorts can also help your cause by building up saliva which acts as a coating for the enamel for food to slip off of.  Finally mouthwash that has fluoride will also help prolong the life span of your tooth enamel.


If you grind your teeth, or if you feel as though you may be chewing inappropriately it would be a good idea to try and stop on your own, although further help from your dentist may be necessary.  If your dentist determines that your tooth enamel is either gone or almost gone, your dentist may have a solution for you.  Your dentist may opt for tooth restoration in order to repair the damage to your enamel caused by erosion.  See your local dentist for further tips and recommendations on how to protect your enamel.