With spring cleaning and warmer weather around the corner, it’s an excellent time to get a comprehensive checkup at Danville Family Dentistry. These dental checkups are vital for good oral health and a bright smile. This protective coating wears down if you delay your dental checkups, but we’ll tell you exactly how to prevent tooth enamel erosion between visits.
What is Tooth Enamel?
Tooth enamel is the hard, defensive coating that protects your teeth and keeps them healthy and white. It’s a super hard substance that makes sure the insides of teeth are safe from bacteria and acids. You can’t see this protective layer, but when tooth enamel erodes, you may experience infection, pain, or even tooth decay.
Once enamel no longer protects the inner, more sensitive part of a tooth, harmful substances remain on the tooth, causing even more erosion. Bacteria from sugars or acids from fruits and coffee can breed extra bacteria and eat away at even more of your essential tooth enamel.
Tooth enamel erosion shows itself in the form of yellowed or discolored teeth. You may notice heat or cold tooth sensitivity to food and drinks if the layer of enamel is compromised.
How to Prevent Tooth Enamel Erosion
Once tooth enamel is gone, it can’t be restored. That’s why it’s essential to take preventive measures and keep your mouth healthy and strong.
- Avoid grinding your teeth. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can happen during the day and especially at night when you might not even notice it. Excessive grinding without treatment can wear down or completely grind away your all-important tooth enamel. During sleep, you obviously can’t stop yourself from bruxism, but you can ask us about nighttime mouthguards to protect enamel from erosion.
- Evaluate your diet. Every dietary choice you make can help or hurt your tooth enamel. For example, foods rich in calcium are great for keeping tooth enamel erosion at bay. Some studies prove that milk and yogurt products are especially good for your teeth.
However, there are a lot of foods and drinks that cause wear and tear, plus staining of the teeth. Here are some of the most common culprits:
- Soda pop (Sugar-free included)
- Fruit juices
- Energy drinks
- Citrus fruits
- Vitamin water
- Vitamin C tablets
- And more
Avoiding things from this list helps protect tooth enamel, but we understand that there are many delicious treats we can’t completely abstain from. That’s why it’s so crucial to follow the next tip.
- Healthy oral hygiene habits are how you prevent tooth enamel erosion. By flossing and brushing several times every day, you’ll keep your tooth enamel strong and resistant to staining and decay. Look for toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is an ingredient that protects enamel. Look for products with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.
- Chew gum. When you chew gum, you produce more saliva. Saliva, even if it sounds gross, is necessary to prevent tooth enamel erosion. It washes away bacteria and acids from all the foods you eat and beverages you drink throughout the day. That’s why those with chronic dry mouths are more susceptible to tooth enamel erosion, decay, and gum disease.
- Brush softly. Using a toothbrush with rigid bristles or brushing too vigorously can damage enamel. Be gentle, and simply massage your gums as you clean your mouth.
Are you ready for a tooth enamel checkup? We can’t wait to see you. Call us today at 317-745-4400 to make an appointment.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.