You may have heard your dentist talk about tooth enamel but do you know what he/she was referring to? We’re going to discuss the important role that tooth enamel plays in your dental health so you can understand how to better take care of your teeth.
What is Enamel? For starters, tooth enamel can be defined as the highly-mineralized, hard protective outer covering of the teeth. When you look at your teeth in the mirror, what you are seeing is tooth enamel.
Enamel protects the teeth from a variety of factors such as the force of mastication (chewing), and the varying temperatures of the foods and beverages we eat and drink.
Serving as an insulator to the nerves in the teeth, enamel helps us enjoy eating and drinking different foods without pain.
What happens when tooth enamel is damaged? Unfortunately, tooth enamel has no living cells which means that once it is damaged it cannot be repaired.
This is why it is so important to understand the role enamel plays in your oral health and to take steps to maintain the enamel that you do have. If you’re concerned about your dental health, contact our Ohio urgent dental care office.
Steps to Protect Your Tooth Enamel
Even though tooth enamel cannot be regrown or repaired without the use of bonding or a crown, you can take certain steps and modify your behavior in ways that will help you to keep the enamel you do have strong and functioning properly.
- Avoid drinking high acid, sugary drinks.
- We hate to break it to you, but we are specifically talking about soda (regular and diet) and fruit juice. Both of these beverages contain highly acidic and sugary ingredients which are the biggest culprits for eating away at healthy tooth enamel. Sports drinks and energy drinks should be avoided for the same reasons.
- Consume citrus or other acidic foods in moderation. Although citrus foods such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are good for you, they still contain high levels of acid which is an enemy of enamel. If you choose to eat these foods, do so in moderation. You can also try eating these foods first and following with other less acidic foods to help cut down on the acid leftover in your mouth.
- Chew sugarless gum after eating. Saliva helps protect your enamel by coating the teeth and moving acid and other particles of food out of the mouth and into the stomach. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and helps this process even further.
- Address health concerns. Remember, health problems such as acid reflux, gastrointestinal disorders, and other issues may be causing trouble for your oral health. Get these issues addressed as soon as possible to help protect your enamel from being exposed to excess acid.
- Be careful what you chew. Once enamel is chipped or cracked, it cannot be restored. For this reason it is important that you do not chomp on hard items such as hard candy or ice.
Our dental clinic Columbus Ohio staff care of your tooth enamel care. It may not sound like a high priority but it is something that you should take seriously. It isn’t until your enamel becomes damaged that you will notice the nasty side effects, so take every precaution to protect your enamel while you can.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain, that may be a sign that you have damaged tooth enamel that needs to be addressed by a dentist.
Contact The Dental Center at Easton Town Center today at 614-414-0111. We can set up a consultation with Dr. Gilmer to inspect your tooth enamel.