How Can I Protect My Tooth Enamel?
You’d be surprised to know that the enamel on your teeth is the strongest substance in your entire body. It is a hard, semi-transparent outer layer that protects the teeth from wear and tear. Apart from acting as a protective layer, the enamel also keeps off chemicals and acids from affecting your teeth. This enamel layer also protects you from sensitivity when you heat something hot or cold.
Over time, this protective layer wears away exposing your teeth to harmful substances that are likely to cause decay and cavities. You can feel the enamel coating has eroded if you have a painful sensation when eating hot or cold food or sweets.
Appropriate oral hygiene practices can keep your enamel coating in good condition. But before that, it is essential to understand why the enamel erodes.
What Causes the Enamel to Erode?
There are several factors that can cause the enamel coating to erode. The first and foremost cause is eating too much sweet or sour food. The bacteria inside your mouth love sugar and in combination with it, they produce acids that erode the enamel gradually.
Similarly, sour foods have high acidic content, which again causes damage to the enamel.
Acid reflux or heartburn is another reason. During an acid reflux, the acids in your stomach backflow and enter your mouth. If this occurs regularly, the enamel coating is likely to be affected. Similarly, drinking too much alcohol can also damage the enamel.
Dry mouth is another condition that can affect the enamel coating. If you suffer from a dry mouth, it means there’s not enough saliva production to wash away the harmful bacteria or food particles that are stuck between the teeth.
Brushing too hard or using a hard brush can also erode the enamel gradually. Grinding your teeth too often can also damage the enamel coating.
How to Protect the Enamel Layer?
There are several precautions you can take to keep the enamel layer intact. The first thing to do is avoid eating too much sweet or sour food. Reduce the intake of soda, juices and citrus fruits. If you love juices or sodas, use a straw so that the liquid does not affect your teeth.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal, especially if you have had something sweet or sour.
Drink enough water to keep your mouth hydrated and stimulate the flow of saliva.
Use a soft brush and fluoride-based toothpaste.