Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, it is still subject to wear and damage. The bad news is that when tooth enamel is damaged or lost, your body can't replace it. But the good news is that you can take steps to strengthen and protect your tooth enamel, and Dr. Anis Elkhechen, DMD, your dentist in Loxahatchee, FL can repair it with restorations like tooth-colored fillings, dental crowns, or veneers.
Here's what you should know about protecting your tooth enamel from wear or damage.
What Causes Tooth Enamel to Erode?
The acids that occur in your mouth after eating are one of the main culprits of enamel erosion. Certain foods high in starches, sugars, or acids can eat through the enamel and cause decay. These would be foods like:
- Candy (Sugars)
- Juices (Sugars/Acidic)
- Soda (Sugars/Acidic)
- Chips (Starches)
- Crackers (Starches)
Sugary foods fuel the bacteria in your mouth that create the acids that erode tooth enamel. Likewise, starchy foods stick to your teeth and convert into sugars.
Saliva works to neutralize the acids in your mouth that eat away tooth enamel, but a diet high in sugars and starches makes it hard for your saliva to keep up.
Other Causes of Tooth Erosion
Other situations occur in your body that can also contribute to enamel erosion, like:
- Certain medications
- Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
- Acid reflux
- Dry mouth
- Eating disorders (like bulimia)
When tooth enamel wears away, your teeth can become sensitive and more susceptible to damage or infection.
Protecting Your Teeth from Enamel Erosion
You can take steps at home to protect your teeth from enamel erosion by:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing your teeth at least once each day - Yes! You can get cavities in between your teeth
- Visiting your dentist in Wellington, FL, every six months for preventive teeth cleanings and checkups
Limiting sugars and starches in your diet will also help protect your teeth from enamel erosion. In addition, a diet high in fruits and vegetables helps increase saliva flow and neutralize the acids in your mouth.