Enamel – why it’s important and how to protect it

Strong enamel is an often overlooked essential component of good oral health. Too many people focus on maintaining fresh breath and keeping their teeth white, without considering just how important enamel really is.

Enamel is the outer covering of teeth, which acts as a protective shell. It’s actually the hardest part of the human body, defending against everyday chewing and grinding as well as temperature and painful chemicals.

Deteriorated enamel can lead to a whole host of oral issues, from dull-looking teeth to an increased risk of gum or periodontal disease. While some wear and tear of enamel is unavoidable, too much is detrimental to the mouth. Keeping your enamel protected is vital because, unlike other parts of the body, enamel can’t be restored or repaired naturally.

So it’s essential to keep your enamel strong from childhood. Here are some basic tips to help you make sure your enamel is well protected.

 

Limit sugar intake

We all know that sugar can be bad for teeth. When left to linger in the mouth, it produces extra lactic acid that will, in time, soften and wear away at enamel. Sweets, soft drinks, cookies and many other common treats are high in sugar, but lots of healthy foods can also contain a surprising amount too.

Fruits, cereal, tea and bread contain sugar that can lead to enamel deterioration if left in the mouth too long. The best thing that you can drink to protect your enamel is water. Look out for sugarless foods where you can, and always brush your teeth about an hour after eating sweets.

 

Don’t brush too hard

Brushing too intensely at your teeth can also wear away at enamel. Use gentle, tooth-length strokes and be sure to pay attention to hard-to-reach spots like the gum line, back teeth, and areas around fillings. To be gentle to enamel, use a soft-bristle brush. The entire process should take about two minutes.

 

Watch out for dry mouth

Too often people shrug off dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, as everyday thirst. Unfortunately it can cause real damage to the mouth if left untreated. Dry mouth occurs when the body can’t produce enough saliva, or your saliva is depleted for another reason. Saliva is vital to wash away sugars and other substances that can cause cavities, keeping your enamel safe.

The culprit behind dry mouth might be smoking, medication, or ailments that cause a loss of body fluids. Temporary fixes for this issue include drinking lots of water and chewing sugar-free gum to encourage saliva production.

 

If you think you’re experiencing dry mouth or are concerned about the state of your enamel, the best thing to do is visit the dentist. Call us here at Dental Care Partnership on 0121 354 1922 to book an appointment with one of our friendly team.