Did you know that a single mouth can be home to over 6 billion different bacteria? Even after thorough brushing and flossing there is still bacteria in your mouth. Good thing we have the strongest part of our body, enamel, to protect our teeth from these harmful germs. Your enamel is more important than you think, and so is properly caring for it. Read on to hear what a trusted dentist has to say about your tooth’s enamel and how to protect it.
What is Tooth Enamel?
Your teeth’s enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in your body. It covers the outer layers of each tooth, making it the most visible part of your teeth. Enamel protects your smile from decay, so it’s vital to do everything you can to keep it from eroding. It forms a strong barrier that protects the inner layers of your teeth from acid and plaque. It also protects the inside of your teeth from very hot or cold foods and drinks. If you experience sensitive teeth when eating or drinking something hot or cold, you could have weakened enamel.
Unlike other parts of your body, your teeth’s enamel doesn’t contain any living cells. This means that if your enamel is destroyed, your body won’t reproduce more to replace it.
What is Demineralization of Enamel?
This occurs when there is superficial dissolving of your surface enamel of the tooth. It’s the earliest stage of tooth decay and it most commonly looks like white areas or white spots on your teeth.
This demineralization is caused by a regular exposure of the enamel to acids (produced by accumulation of bacteria). These white spots can also be instigated by consumption of food and drinks containing acid.
How Can I Avoid Enamel Breakdown?
You can protect your enamel by avoiding food and drinks that cause damage. Sugary foods or acidic fruits are harmful because they stick to your teeth and interact with bacteria in your mouth, which creates acid that damages enamel. We know you can’t avoid these foods all together, so after consumption make sure you brush thoroughly.
Additionally, proper oral healthcare habits like regular brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for professional cleanings will help protect your enamel against acids and bacteria.
Because enamel doesn’t grow back, it’s important to protect what you’ve got. You can strengthen your enamel by making sure you’re using fluoride. The easiest way to do this is to use fluoridated toothpaste. This can strengthen enamel and sometimes even reverse early signs of decay.
Protecting your enamel means protecting your teeth and oral health. Your enamel is the first line of defense for harmful acids so make sure you maintain a healthy diet and oral health habits to keep smiling as bright and white as you can.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Stirneman enjoys meeting new patients and helping them improve their smiles and lives, which is why he’s been working in dentistry for 26 years. He attends hundreds of hours of continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on all the latest dental techniques. He currently practices at Compassionate Dental Care and can be contacted by phone at (847) 854-7645 for any questions you may have.