Tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth that protects them from daily wear and tear. But if your enamel starts to erode, you could experience the discomfort of tooth sensitivity and be at a higher risk of tooth decay.
Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to protect your tooth enamel and keep your teeth strong and healthy. Then give us a call at 720-504-2539 to schedule your next dental appointment at SIlver Leaf Dentistry of Longmont, CO.
What Causes Tooth Enamel Erosion?
Many things can damage the outer layer of your teeth, the most common of which include:
- Too many sugary foods – The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar. When you indulge in sugary, sweet foods, the bacteria feed off the sugar and create acids that can eat away at your enamel.
- Sour foods or candies – In most cases, it takes a lot of acid to make a food sour and that acid isn’t good for your teeth.
- Dry mouth – Saliva is important because it helps wash away bacteria, acids, and leftover food to prevent tooth decay. If your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, your enamel will suffer
- Acid reflux disease, GERD, or heartburn – These conditions bring stomach acids up to your mouth, where they can harm your enamel.
- Eating disorders, alcoholism, or binge drinking – People with these conditions tend to vomit more often, which harms your teeth.
- Medications or supplements – Some medications and supplements, like aspirin or vitamin C, have a lot of acid in them.
- Aggressive brushing – Brushing your teeth too hard can also damage your enamel. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle motions.
- Teeth grinding – Also known as bruxism, regularly grinding your teeth can wear down your teeth and damage your enamel.
How Can I Protect My Enamel?
Once enamel is lost, it cannot be replaced. To take care of your teeth, and boost your oral health, the best thing you can do is prevent your enamel from being lost in the first place. If you are concerned about the amount of damage that has already been done, it’s never too late to start taking better care of your teeth.
Consider the following tips to protect your enamel:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride and floss between your teeth at least once a day.
- Cut down on the number of acidic and sugary foods and beverages you consume. As much as possible, avoid soda, citrus fruits, and juices.
- Right after you eat something acidic, rinse your mouth with water.
- When you do have a soda or fruit juice, use a straw so they bypass your teeth.
- Chew sugar-free gum between meals to lower the amount of acid in your mouth and to encourage the production of saliva which will help clean and strengthen your teeth.
- Sip on water throughout the day.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t brush your teeth too hard.
- Wait at least an hour after consuming acidic foods or drinks to brush your teeth.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Seek treatment for conditions like eating disorders, alcoholism, or GERD.
See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups & Cleanings
To further protect your enamel and keep your mouth healthy, make sure you maintain regular visits with your dentist. We like to see our patients every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.