4 Ways to Protect Your Enamel

Tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances found in the human body. This tough outer layer protects your teeth above the gum line when you use your teeth to bite, chew and crunch your food. It also protects your tooth’s living inner pulp from temperature extremes and unwelcome chemicals.

But as amazing as tooth enamel is, it isn’t impenetrable. Because it contains no living cells, it cannot repair itself but it becomes damaged by decay or an injury. Here are a few tips for protecting your teeth’s natural enamel layer and keeping it strong.

Protect your enamel, protect your oral health.

  1. Avoid acidic drinks like soda, lemonade and wine. While sugar plays a central role in tooth decay, the acid in citrus-flavored drinks also damages your tooth enamel. Good alternatives to these beverages include unflavored water and unsweetened milk or milk alternatives.
  2. Brush, floss and rinse. These three parts of your daily oral health routine help retain enamel by promoting tooth remineralization, keeping your gums healthy and flushing debris from your mouth.
  3. Chew xylitol-based gum between brushings. A newly recommended evidence-based activity for maintaining tooth enamel is using sugarless gum containing xylitol. This type of gum can promote saliva flow and remove citric acid from your teeth.
  4. Get erosive conditions Several health ailments can directly threaten your enamel, including bruxism (teeth grinding) and gastric reflux, which can expose your teeth to powerful digestive acids. Proper treatment reduces your oral health risk.

“Maintaining tooth enamel requires ongoing attention to your oral health, but the payoff is a lifetime of smiles from your natural teeth,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix.

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