Protecting Your Enamel 101
Tooth enamel is a semi-clear, hard, outer layer that protects your teeth from daily wear and tear. It also keeps you from feeling temperature extremes from the hot and cold things you eat and drink. It also protects your teeth from acids or damage, so it’s pretty important! In this week’s article, we’ll giving you the what’s what of protecting your enamel.
What causes enamel erosion?
Every time you eat or drink anything acidic, the enamel on your teeth becomes softer for a short while, and loses some of its mineral content. Your saliva will slowly cancel out this acidity in your mouth and get it back to its natural balance. However, if this acid attack happens too often, your mouth does not have a chance to repair itself and tiny bits of enamel can be brushed away. Over time, you start to lose the surface of your teeth. When this shell erodes, your teeth are more likely to get cavities and decay. You may notice you react more to hot or cold foods, drinks, and sweets, since they can get through holes in your enamel to the nerves inside.
What are the symptoms?
You can identify enamel erosion by looking out for hollows in your teeth, as well as a general wearing away of the tooth’s surface. This may expose the dentine found underneath enamel. You may also notice symptoms such as pain when eating hot or cold food, rough or uneven edges on your teeth, yellow teeth, or dents that show up where you bite or chew.
How do you protect your enamel?
Your enamel can’t be replaced, so prevention is your best option. Specifically, good dental care is the top way to ensure that your enamel is kept in a healthy condition. This includes using fluoride toothpaste and/or mouthwash, as well as ensuring that you’re not brushing too hard. It may be a good idea to cut back on acidic food and drinks, especially soft drinks and juices. If you do want to continue to enjoy these things, consider using a straw to drink, or rinsing your mouth after consumption. Eating disorders such as bulimia will also impact the health of your enamel, so ensure you’re getting treated all round.
Ultimately, it’s best to talk to your dentist about the best options for you. Eden Rise Dental is your local dentist in Berwick, and with their comprehensive, professional services, you can’t go wrong. Get in touch by calling (03) 9702 6111 for more information today.