Tooth enamel is like a shield around teeth that helps protect them from tooth decay and cavities. But, that shield is under attack every day, leaving your teeth vulnerable to unhealthy bacteria. Here’s what you need to know about tooth enamel, and how you can keep your family’s tooth enamel strong.
Tooth enamel is the first line of defense your teeth have against plaque and cavities. It is the white, visible part of the tooth and it is also the hardest part of the human body. When enamel is damaged, it can appear discolored and leave the affected teeth very sensitive.
Tooth enamel protects teeth from decay and cavities. When it is damaged or destroyed, teeth and gums are more susceptible to oral health issues more serious disease.
Acid is the primary agent that destroys tooth enamel, and most of the damage is done by the foods and drinks that you consume. Soft drinks are the most frequent source of erosive acids, due to their high acidity and frequency of consumption. Other drinks like fruit juice, sports drinks and energy drinks can also damage your teeth through acidic erosion. Acidic fruits like oranges and grapefruit, and sticky carbohydrates like bread and crackers can also eat away at tooth enamel.
Calcium is a dental super mineral. That’s because it neutralizes damaging acids and is a great enamel protector. Try to add at least one dairy product to your meals to get the adequate amount of calcium. If your family does not consume dairy, try introducing some of these other calcium-rich foods: almond milk, canned fish, kale, soy yogurt or soybeans.
Water is not acidic, and does not harm tooth enamel. It also improves saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth of debris and restores the mouth back to a healthy ph balance. Try giving your family more water instead of sugary drinks to help keep their tooth enamel strong and healthy.
Food debris left on teeth encourages bacteria growth that eats away at enamel and causes cavities. This is why it’s important to brush twice per day, for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day to clean debris from the hard-to-reach areas of teeth.
Unfortunately, cavities are the most common disease afflicting children in the United States, and almost completely preventable. You can help prevent cavities in your children by keeping their tooth enamel clean and strong.
Visit our office so that we can evaluate your child’s overall oral health. We check and document the state of your child’s tooth enamel as a part of our regular checkups, and we will help give you and your child the knowledge necessary to keep a healthy, lifelong smile.