Strengthen Your Enamel

Dental CareThe layer of enamel you have on the crown of each of your natural teeth is your first line of defense in your dental care. Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, and protects your teeth when you chew or speak. But although enamel is strong, it is also brittle, and because it is mostly inorganic material, it doesn’t regenerate itself when it chips, cracks or breaks. This means it is important to protect and strengthen your enamel whenever possible.

Here are several dental care tips designed to help you strengthen your tooth enamel.

  1. Get adequate fluoride. Because fluoride strengthens enamel, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, drinking fluoridated water and considering fluoride supplements or treatments if your dentist recommends them can all be beneficial.
  2. Avoid food and drinks that erode enamel. Carbonated sodas and citrus-flavored sports drinks are corrosive to tooth enamel. Sugary foods and beverages can threaten enamel via tooth decay. Limit your consumption of these items, and boost the amount of foods that promote remineralization of your teeth in your diet, such as dairy products and nuts.
  3. Keep your mouth well hydrated. Drink plenty of water and talk to your dental care team if you think you suffer from dry mouth, which accelerates tooth decay. Saliva carries calcium, which remineralizes enamel, and washes away food debris.
  4. Consider using chewing gum and antacids. Sugar-free chewing gum with xylitol can protect tooth enamel from decay. Antacids can control acid reflux disease, which can severely erode enamel.

All of these steps can strengthen enamel, or help prevent enamel erosion. If your dentist determines that your enamel is severely compromised, he or she may install a filling in teeth that have cavities  or install  a crown in order to protect the rest of the tooth’s structure.

“Knowing how to keep your tooth enamel strong is one of the dental care basics that no one can afford to ignore,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist practicing in central Phoenix.

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