Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the critical job of preserving teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also safeguards tooth nerves from hot and cold food and beverages. In this post from Dr. Howard Kessner General, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry in Dallas we discuss tooth enamel, and how you can protect it.
Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly incredible. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes it is better NOT to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is useful, however, because it washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid.
Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva guards your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left unprotected. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the solution for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water periodically can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.
Moreover, tooth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many Dallas residents who grinds their teeth at night, it’s important to get a mouthguard ASAP.
If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already occurred. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – your teeth will thank you for it.
At Dr. Howard Kessner General, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry in Dallas, we want all our patients to protect their tooth enamel. Patients from Richardson, Plano, and Prestonwood come to our office for general and restorative dentistry, and much more. Schedule an appointment today!
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