What is Tooth Enamel and How Can We Protect It?

Chipped Tooth Enamel

What is Tooth Enamel?

Enamel is the hard white outer covering of the teeth. Tooth enamel is considered to be the hardest substance in the human body and its main purpose is to protect the teeth from damage. Since the nerves in teeth are actually very sensitive, enamel acts as an insulator which allows you to consume hot or cold foods without pain. If you have discomfort when drinking a cold beverage, you may want to consult with your dentist to see if erosion is occurring.

How Does Erosion Occur?

Considering the primary job of enamel is to protect the teeth, it is constantly exposed to danger. Acids caused by sugary foods and drink, bacteria in the mouth and normal wear and tear cause the enamel to break down. Even genetics, medication, and illness can contribute to the loss of tooth enamel. If the enamel has eroded, your dentist will have to conduct restoration to return your teeth to a healthy state.

Can Enamel Erosion Be Reduced?

Sure it can! But you have to do your part too. Since the body doesn’t have a natural way to repair damage to teeth, preventative measures are an integral part of good oral hygiene. There are several ways to help lessen the stress placed on your teeth.

  • Reduce or avoid soda
  • Eat fruits in moderation. Sugar and acids in fruit can contribute to enamel reduction. There are many positive benefits of fruit, so don’t avoid them completely
  • Drink fluoridated water/brush with fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride helps to harden the teeth and can reduce cavities
  • Avoid sugar in excess. Sugary foods like candy contribute to tooth decay
  • Chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva production. Saliva is your body’s natural defense mechanism, helping to wash away harmful acids and prevent dry mouth(xerostomia)
  • Brushing at least twice daily will help keep the enamel strong and health

Our body isn’t capable of replacing teeth once they are damaged or lost, so it is extremely important to maintain proper oral care. Follow the tips above and you can be sure that your teeth stay healthy and strong.

If you experience pain or discomfort, it might be a sign that you have excessive enamel erosion. Call (919) 467-0654 or complete the contact form to schedule your appointment with Beavers Caring Family Dentistry.