One of the hardest materials found in the human body is the dental enamel. It covers the outer part of the teeth and provides protection to your teeth. This outer layer is made of minerals and it is the mineralisation that makes the teeth strong. It is important that proper care and attention is given to the enamel so your teeth can stay strong.
The Individual tooth has a soft pulp core, which has nerve endings in it. The pulp is covered by dentine, which is in turn covered by enamel. If the enamel gets eroded then the dental health gets affected leading to a host of dental problems.
Some of the things that can give you a heads up on enamel erosion are discolouration of the teeth, feeling teeth sensitivity when consuming hot or cold drinks/food, enamel getting chipped or cracked etc. If untreated, these conditions may lead to more damaging dental issues.
Keeping enamel stronger
Deciding on the right toothpaste – All toothpastes are not the same, they differ based on the type of ingredients that go into their making. If you want to try and strengthen dental enamel then pick a toothpaste that has fluoride in it. This can help strengthen the teeth. Studies show that fluoride helps reduce enamel erosion.
Including foods that help to strengthen enamel – Calcium helps in strengthening the bones in the body, it also plays a crucial role in maintaining the structure and function of dental enamel. Some other types of food that can be included in the diet to improve enamel health would be cheese, milk etc.
Reducing sugary food and drinks – Sugary food and drinks when consumed attract bacteria. They interact with the food and release acid which works on the dental enamel, thus eroding the enamel. So it is important that you try and minimize the consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Also make sure that you clean your mouth well after every meal. This will help reduce the chances of food debris being acted on by bacteria.
Cutting down on snacking – Many people have the habit of snacking in between meals. Cutting back on snacking to just one or two times a day can help to reduce the food debris in your mouth. Whenever you snack, make sure that you clean your mouth afterwards.
Proper cleaning – After every meal, wash your mouth thoroughly with clean water. It will help wash away sugary food and acids. Using mouthwash after a major meal can also help a great deal.
Chewing gum – Chewing gum can help generate more saliva. Saliva plays an active role in strengthening the teeth as it contains traces of minerals in it. There is also a cleansing action performed by saliva, which helps clear away food debris. If you have a dry mouth condition, you need to check with your dentist and get it treated as soon as possible.
Proper brushing – Check your teeth brushing technique. Some people brush their teeth very roughly. This can harm the enamel of the teeth and abrade the surface. Check the type of tooth brushes that you use as well. Some brushes have strong bristles that harm the enamel, so use only soft bristled brushes.
Other contributing conditions
Acid is harmful to the teeth and enamel. Some medical conditions such as gastric reflux may also lead to dental enamel being eroded. The gastric juices have a high acid content. When the acid reaches the mouth, it can affect the enamel and erode it.
Teeth grinding is also another common problem. This habit puts extra pressure on the teeth and can lead to the enamel being eroded due to the constant grinding action. The structure and function of the teeth itself will get affected if this continues unchecked.
Certain medications are also known to affect the nature and health of dental enamel. Antihistamines, aspirin, syrups, asthma medicines etc. are known to erode the enamel. They contain ingredients that directly or indirectly affect enamel.
Like in the case of antihistamines, this medication usually create a dry mouth condition. When your mouth is dry, there is not enough saliva to wash the bacteria away. This can lead to the bacteria creating more acid and corroding the enamel. Syrups also affect teeth indirectly – the sugar content in the medicine attract the bacteria. Aspirin has a direct impact on teeth. When the highly acidic tablet is consumed, it can work directly on the tooth enamel.
Going for regular check-ups is important, and is recommend at least twice in a year. Regular consultations with dentists will help uncover problems at the earliest and get them treated. You will be able to take necessary steps to prevent further deterioration if there are any dental issues. During the consultation, you dentist will also guide you on the best dietary and oral hygiene practices.
It is important that you give proper care and attention to dental enamel. The above tips can help you maintain a healthy set of teeth, enamel, and gums. For more information and guidance on oral health do consult with your dental care providers.