In this post, we will discuss some ways you can protect your tooth enamel from damage in order to keep your teeth healthy.
Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth. It is the is the hardest substance in your body and plays a very important role in protecting your teeth from decay.
Your tooth enamel creates a natural barrier protecting your teeth from the effects of acids and plaque, and also the inner layers of your teeth from foods and drinks that are very hot or very cold.
Unfortunately, the enamel on your teeth will not regenerate naturally over time. It is not like bones or skin and does not contain any living cells that will grow and replace enamel that has been destroyed by soda, sugar, acidic foods, candy and other damaging foods and beverages. Because of this, it’s extremely important to try and protect your enamel.
Related: Worst foods for your teeth
Here are some ways to help protect your tooth enamel.
Cut back on snacks
Eliminating unnecessary snacks isn’t just good for your health, it’s good for your teeth. People often brush after meals but are not as vigilant about brushing after snacks. Snacking throughout the day can lead to greater acid production in your mouth. They can also get stuck in the corners of your mouth and in between teeth, staying there for extended periods of time and increasing the risk of damage to your teeth.
Rinse your mouth after eating
Gently wash out your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating a meal or snack. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating food can actually worsen the damage because you spread the acid around your mouth. A simple rinse right after eating can help prevent this, as well as get bits of food out of your teeth. You can then brush your teeth an hour or so after eating.
Don’t swish those sugary drinks
When you swirl liquids around in your mouth, especially acidic ones such as soda, sports drinks, and soda, you expose more of your mouth to the acids that cause tooth enamel breakdown. Avoid swishing your drinks in your mouth, and when possible, use a straw so less of the sugary beverage gets onto your teeth in the first place.
Chew sugar-free gum
Sugar-free gum can help clear away bits of food and acid remaining in your mouth after a meal. Choose a gum with xylitol, which has been shown to stop the growth of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Increase your dairy intake
Calcium helps build strong teeth (and bones) and dairy products contain the largest amounts of calcium. Dairy products will also form a film over your teeth that lingers after you eat them, which helps protect tooth enamel against acid.
Related: Study finds dairy products reduce risks of cavities
Use toothpaste with fluoride
Always choose toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride for you and your kids. Fluoride helps to strengthen enamel, giving you additional protection against the acids and foods that wear away the protective coating on your teeth.
Get your regular check-ups
Like so many other potential issues with your dental health, enamel wear can be prevented with regular dental check-ups. Schedule your regular checkups and teeth cleanings twice a year so you can catch and address any issues as soon as possible.
Are you ready for a checkup? Getting to any issues with your teeth early will help prevent issues from becoming serious problems.
Schedule a consultation online or call us at (972) 964-3774
David Wilhite serves patients in the Plano, Texas area and has 30 years experiences helping people care for and improve their smiles.