Why enamel is important and how to protect it

Having strong enamel is an essential part of oral health which is regularly overlooked. Too many people focus on having fresh breath and white teeth, not considering how important enamel is to our dental health.

Enamel is the tooth’s outer covering which acts like a protective shell. It is the hardest part of the human body, and defends the tooth against painful chemicals, everyday grinding and chewing, and also temperature.

When enamel deteriorates, it can lead to numerous oral health problems, such as dull-looking teeth and an increased risk of gum or periodontal disease. Whilst it is impossible to avoid slight wear and tear to enamel, harming it too much is detrimental to the mouth. Enamel is important to protect as it can’t be restored or repaired naturally, and therefore it’s essential to protect your enamel from an early age.

Here are some tips to protect and maintain your enamel, so it can protect your mouth!

Don’t brush too hard

Brushing your teeth intensely can wear away at tooth enamel. Use a soft-bristle brush, and use gentle, tooth-length strokes to protect enamel to the best of your ability, making sure to pay attention to hard-to-reach spots such as the gum line, back teeth, and areas around fillings, for about two minutes.

Limit sugar intake

The fact that sugar is bad for teeth is common knowledge. When left alone, sugar lingers in the mouth and produces extra lactic acid that will eventually soften the enamel and wear it away. Sweets, fizzy and acidic drinks, and other treats are high in sugar, but many healthy foods also have a surprising amount of sugar in them.

Fruits, bread, cereal and tea also contain sugar which may result in the loss of enamel if left for too long. The best thing to help protect your enamel is to drink water in order to wash away any remaining sugar on your teeth. As well as this, eat sugarless food if possible, and always brush your teeth about an hour after eating sweets.

Watch out for dry mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is an occurrence similar to regular thirst which many people ignore. However, dry mouth can cause real harm to your mouth if left untreated. Dry mouth occurs when the body is unable to produce enough saliva, or your saliva is depleted for other reasons. Saliva is highly important in washing away sugars and other substances which can cause cavities, protecting your enamel.

Dry mouth may be the result of smoking, medication, or ailments that result in a loss of bodily fluids. If you think you may be suffering from dry mouth, see your dentist. Temporary solutions for dry mouth include drinking lots of water and chewing sugar-free gum to encourage saliva production.

If you want more advice on how to protect your enamel, book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists, who will be more than happy to help. Call us now on 0121 354 1922 to speak to a member of our dedicated team.