How to Prevent Enamel Loss
Have you ever wondered about tooth enamel and why it’s so important? At Prescott Dentistry, your oral and overall health are our top priorities. That’s why in today’s post we will talk about how to prevent enamel loss so you can protect your pearly whites for a lifetime.
What is Enamel?
Each tooth consists of three layers—enamel, dentin, and pulp. The enamel is the outermost layer that protects your teeth from decay. The enamel is made up mostly of minerals, primarily hydroxyapatite (calcium phosphate). It is the hardest, most mineralized substance in the body.
What is Enamel Loss?
Enamel loss occurs when food, drink, and other acidic elements erode the hard outer layer of your teeth. Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body—even stronger than bone—some wear and tear is inevitable. Enamel is also soluble in acid. That is how you get a cavity. However, there are things you can do to prevent significant damage to the enamel.
What Causes it?
Enamel loss is often caused by acids in our food and beverages. While most foods and beverages contain some acid, certain types of foods and beverages lead to more enamel loss than others. These include foods with high sugar and starch content, as well as acidic fruits and fruit juices that contain high levels of vitamin C. One of the most common causes of enamel erosion is soda, which contains sugar and acids that can seriously damage enamel. Other causes of enamel loss include acid reflux, bulimia, chronic dry-mouth, teeth grinding, genetics, and certain medications like antihistamines and aspirin.
Symptoms of Enamel Loss
- Clear or translucent teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Indentations on the surface of teeth
Of course, prevention of enamel erosion is the best approach to dental care. Though tooth enamel is extremely strong, it cannot be regrown. Once enamel is lost, it is lost forever. But it does take a long time for enamel to erode, and it is never too late to begin treating this issue—even if some erosion is already apparent.
Preventing Enamel Loss
- Choose less acidic foods and beverages
- Avoid sugar
- Brush your teeth regularly—at least twice a day, but preferably after every meal
- Wait 30 minutes to brush after consuming a meal, snack or beverage
- Floss at least once a day
- Make sure to schedule regular six-month dental cleanings
- Increase your water intake, and swish water in your mouth after consuming acidic foods and drinks
If significant enamel loss has already occurred, talk with your dentist here at Prescott Dentistry about possible restorative techniques. If you have more questions about how to prevent enamel loss, be sure to ask us at your next appointment or call us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you keep your smile beautiful and healthy! Stay tuned for our next post where we will talk about strengthening and restoring the enamel.