Known for being the outermost layer of your teeth, tooth enamel is your body’s hardest and most mineralized substance. It covers the crown of your tooth, which is the visible part above the gum line. Enamel is translucent, ranging in color from light yellow to grayish-white. Although it is an incredibly tough substance, tooth enamel can still be damaged by acids or physical trauma, leading to dental issues.
Tooth enamel serves as a protective barrier for your teeth, shielding the more sensitive inner layers from damage. It also helps to maintain the shape and structure of your teeth, making it possible to bite and chew food. Enamel also regulates the temperature of your teeth, insulating them from hot and cold substances.
Since tooth enamel is important to the health of your teeth, you must take proper care of it. Here are some tips for maintaining healthy enamel:
- Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day with Fluoride Toothpaste: Fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel, making it less susceptible to decay.
- Floss Daily: Flossing removes plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, preventing decay from forming.
- Avoid Anything Sugary and Acidic: Sugary and acidic substances can erode your enamel, leading to cavities and other dental problems.
- Use a Straw for Acidic Beverages: Using a straw can help to minimize the contact between your teeth and acidic substances.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate the production of saliva, which neutralizes acids in your mouth and promotes the remineralization of your enamel.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Regular dental check-ups can help to catch and treat dental problems before they become more serious.
Damage to Tooth Enamel
Despite its durability, tooth enamel can still be damaged by various factors. Here are some of the most common causes of enamel damage:
- Acidic Food and Drinks: Consuming acidic substances, such as soda, citrus fruits, and vinegar, can erode your enamel over time
- Sugary Foods and Drinks: Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, producing acid that can wear away your enamel and lead to cavities.
- Teeth Grinding: Grinding your teeth can cause your enamel to wear down over time, leading to sensitivity and other dental problems.
- Physical Trauma: A blow to the mouth or other physical trauma can chip or crack your enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay.
- Dry Mouth: Saliva helps to neutralize acids in your mouth and promote remineralization of your enamel. You may be more susceptible to enamel damage if you have a dry mouth.
Treatment for Enamel Damage
If you have damaged enamel, several treatment options are available, depending on the severity of the damage. Here are some of them:
- Bonding: Bonding involves applying a tooth-colored resin to the surface of your tooth to repair chips or cracks.
- Veneers: Veneers are thin shells cemented onto the front of your teeth to cover imperfections, including enamel damage.
- Crowns: Crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed over damaged teeth to restore their shape and protect them from further damage.
- Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride treatments can help to remineralize your enamel, strengthening it and making it more resistant to decay.
Tooth enamel is instrumental to your dental health. It acts as a protective shield for your teeth, preventing decay and damage. However, you must also be mindful of acidic foods and drinks that can erode enamel over time. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene habits can help maintain strong and healthy tooth enamel.
Are you looking for a reputable dental clinic near Watertown? Watertown Dentistry has you covered! We offer a wide range of dental services to help protect and strengthen your tooth enamel. Contact us today to book an appointment!