Tooth Enamel And Why It Matters
Tooth enamel is an essential part of the defense between your teeth and the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that cause tooth decay. Tooth enamel keeps your teeth strong, and healthy enamel indicates a healthy mouth.
So to best protect your teeth, you must protect your enamel which is the outer layer of your teeth. Knowing how to keep your teeth and gums healthy will ensure you are protecting your enamel and your overall oral health.
Everyone wants to have a beautiful, healthy smile. We will tell you what tooth enamel is, why it is essential, how it gets damaged, and how to protect it to keep your smile white and your teeth healthy!
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Enamel is a mineral that forms the outer layer of your teeth and is the hardest part of your body. In fact, on the hardness scale, the enamel is between steel and titanium. However, this doesn’t mean using your teeth as a tool is okay!
Tooth enamel also:
- It contains the highest percentage(96%) of minerals of any substance in your body
- It contains 4% water
- Has no nerves, or blood vessels
- Varies in thickness on each tooth
- Ranges in color from white to light yellow
Why Is Tooth Enamel Important?
Healthy enamel is an excellent indicator of good oral health. The significance of tooth enamel is the following:
- Tooth enamel protects the delicate pulp inside your teeth and is the first defense against acidic foods.
- Tooth enamel gives us a healthy white smile improving our confidence which affects our mood, self-esteem, and immune system.
- Healthy enamel helps us chew foods properly.
- Tooth enamel protects the blood vessels and nerves in the dental pulp from bacterial contamination that can lead to tooth abscesses.4
- Tooth enamel also provides insulation from cold and hot sensitivities.
What Causes Damage To Enamel?
Your tooth enamel withstands acids made in your mouth when eating and from the foods, you eat.
Tooth enamel damage can happen from various things, including the following:
- Acidic foods, like tomato sauce and oranges
- Acidic drinks
- Tobacco products
- Teeth grinding
- Tooth decay
- Certain medications
- Inadequate saliva flow
- Eating disorders such as bulimia
- Acid reflux
- Alcohol consumption
- Trauma from accidents or sports injuries
How Can I Protect My Tooth Enamel?
Protecting your tooth enamel will help you maintain oral health and reduce your chances of developing cavities or periodontal disease. There are a few ways simple things to do that will help:
- Avoid soda and other acidic drinks as they damage tooth enamel
- Brush gently twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush because overzealous brushing may wear your tooth enamel down just as quickly as acid
- Drinking through a straw helps avoid exposing your teeth to potentially acidic beverages.
- Daily flossing will also protect your tooth enamel from gradual loss by removing plaque and bacteria from your gum line.
- Pay attention when removing dentures or a retainer from your mouth because they can scrape your tooth enamel or cause abrasion.
- Check out secrets to whiter teeth to keep your teeth brighter in between dental visits.
How Can I Prevent Tooth Enamel Loss?
Watching for signs of tooth enamel erosion and regular dental visits can help to monitor your oral health. Symptoms can include:
- Discoloration or yellowing of the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity; especially when eating or drinking cold or hot foods
- Noticing rough edges on your teeth
Once tooth enamel has been scraped or eroded, it can’t be replaced. However, you can strengthen your enamel and reduce the loss from acid and overbrushing. You can choose a toothpaste that helps to protect the enamel gums and mouthwash to help reduce bacteria that may eat away at your tooth enamel.
For White Teeth and A Healthy Smile
Regular visits to your dentist to receive expert care and preventative cleaning will help keep your tooth enamel white and healthy. You can also consider professional teeth whitening to help remove tooth discoloration or staining.
Carrie Muzny DDS Is Here To Give You The Whitest Smile
Carrie Muzny DDS, located in The Woodlands, offers advanced restorative and cosmetic procedures, preventive care, and complex dental procedures. Our team of highly trained experts has extensive experience and a unique skill that allows us to offer exceptional dental care for the whole family. Contact us today to schedule a visit or consultation.