The outermost layer of your teeth – tooth enamel – serves to protect your teeth from decay and physical damage. However, tooth enamel can weaken as you go through life due to a variety of factors. From genetics, to acidic foods & too much sugar, to improper brushing, there are plenty of ways to damage your enamel – and once it’s been damaged, it can’t be restored. But you can take a few simple steps to strengthen your enamel to stop further erosion.
- Pick your toothpaste carefully. Not all toothpastes are created equal. Be sure to pick a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as it helps rebuild weakened enamel, and look for brands with the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance.
- Brush your teeth correctly. A common mistake people make is brushing too hard which can break down enamel all by itself. Also a mistake? Using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard. Instead, brush with a soft bristle toothbrush and use short strokes – not forceful ones. And remember to brush your tongue since bacteria can linger there!
- Take care of your health. Specifically, make sure you take care of any gastrointestinal issues. For example, if you have heartburn, the stomach acid that escapes can reach your mouth and damage your teeth. Taking care of your health properly will help protect your teeth too.
- Eat well. We say it a lot but how you eat affects your health immensely. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits & veggies, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy can help remineralize your teeth and strengthen your enamel.
- Stop grinding. Do you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep? During the day? Then you’re damaging your teeth. Sometimes you grind your teeth unconciously, so what can you do about it? Talk to your dentist about getting a custom fit mouthguard that can protect your teeth (and enamel!).
- If worst comes to worst and you need more help to rebuild your teeth, talk to your dentist about getting a crown or bonding. Bonding involves attaching tooth-colored composite resin to chipped or cracked areas, while crowns involve covering damaged enamel to protect it and strengthen the tooth overall.
Taking care of your enamel is important. It’s there to protect your teeth from the really bad damage so you want it to be as strong as possible. If you’re to the point where you need to look at crowns or bonding or even just need help with teeth grinding, come talk to us! We’re here to help you keep your smile happy & healthy.