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Teeth Enamel

How Can I Protect My Teeth Enamel?

Protecting your teeth enamel is key to maintaining good oral health. One of the questions we get asked a lot by our patients at Eriks Dental is, “how can I restore my tooth enamel?” Sadly, the answer is always the same—you can’t. Once the enamel on your teeth has been destroyed it can’t be regenerated. With that being said, there are some things you can do to strengthen your enamel. Curious? Read on!

What Is Tooth Enamel?

A tooth is made up of a hard outer layer called enamel and a softer inner layer called dentin.

Enamel is a protective layer of your teeth. But with repeated contact of acids from things such as coffee, wine, citrus, cigarettes, and soda, this protective layer can wear away. This leaves you vulnerable to tooth decay and other dental problems.

How Can I Strengthen My Enamel?

Luckily, as we mentioned above, there are some ways that help to protect your enamel and prevent tooth erosion. Following all of these tips can leave you with strong enamel and healthy mouth!

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating an appropriate diet and getting regular dental checkups are two ways to protect your teeth enamel. Your diet should include plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-sugar foods. Low sugar foods are crucial because sugar can be very damaging to your teeth enamel. The more sugar that you can remove from your diet, the more damage to your enamel you can prevent.

Dental Tip: We understand that most people can’t (and won’t) eliminate certain foods from their diet; we get it, we love chocolate and sweets as much as the next person! Just remember that if you do eat something sugary or acidic, brush your teeth after. If you’re not at home, try keeping a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste in your car, purse, desk, or backpack. When your sweet tooth gets the better of you, you’ll be prepared.​​​​​​

Up Your Calcium and Vitamin D Intake

Eating foods like cheese, milk, yogurt, lentils, salmon, and beans is a great way to add calcium and vitamin D into your diet. If you don’t eat a lot of foods that are rich in calcium or vitamin D, consider taking supplements.

Doctors recommend that adults ages 19-51 should have 2,500 mg of calcium per day. Adults 51 and older should have 2,000 mg of calcium per day. The recommended amount of Vitamin D is 600 IU for people ages 1-70.

Brush and Floss Twice Daily

Brushing and flossing regularly will help to protect your teeth from plaque and other bacteria. However, any amount of plaque that is not removed can cause tooth erosion. Food and drink will cling to the plaque and eat away at the enamel.

To avoid this, brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Use a fluoride toothpaste to brush. Be sure to brush your tongue too. This helps to remove any leftover bacteria from the mouth.

Also, consider using dental floss or an interdental cleaner once a day in between your teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is needed to clean in areas that your toothbrush struggles with. If you skip flossing, you are likely increasing your risk of enamel erosion drastically.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

One of the best things you can do to protect your teeth and enamel is to visit a dentist at least twice a year. A dentist will tell you if your brushing and flossing techniques are correct, and can also give you suggestions for improving them. Additionally, they can remove plaque that results from poor dental hygiene.

If you take good care of your teeth, you’ll be able to prevent tooth erosion and other dental problems. However, visiting a dentist ensures a higher level of dental cleaning than you can likely get at home. In fact, the cleaning that you receive from the dentist can make up for some of the erosion and plaque buildup that you missed over the last year.

Repair Cavities Early

Cavities are formed when plaque is left to sit on the teeth. When the cavity is treated, it prevents it from getting worse. As soon as you notice that you have a cavity, visit your dentist. They can help you to repair the cavity before it causes further damage to your teeth and enamel. It may be tempting to avoid going to the dentist due to the cost. But keep in mind that the cost of repairing the damage caused by your cavities is far greater than what your dentist charges.

Fluoride Treatments

It’s recommended that you receive a fluoride treatment at your age every 6 months until adulthood. Fluoride prevents tooth decay and enamel erosion by strengthening teeth, making them more resistant to damage from acid attacks.

You can supplement dentist fluoride treatments by using a fluoride toothpaste. It applies new fluoride every time you brush. This serves as a constant reinforcement of your oral health and can lessen the damage from bacteria over time.

How Can I Tell If My Enamel Is Damaged?

There are a few tell-tale signs that your tooth enamel has been damaged.

  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Discoloration
  • Shiny smooth surfaces
  • Pain
  • Indentations on your teeth
  • Cracks and chips

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, don’t wait! Make an appointment with your local dentist. The longer you ignore your teeth enamel deterioration, the worse it will get.

Dental Checkups Strengthen Teeth Enamel

The best way to avoid dental problems is to make sure that you see your dentist at least twice a year. One 45-minute visit could save you thousands on dental work in the future. If you’re worried about your teeth enamel, schedule an appointment with Eriks Dental Group by calling 561-733-4004, today!