Small but Mighty: Your Teeth's Enamel
How to keep your enamel strong.
Did you know your tooth enamel is the strong substance in your body?
Enamel is the hard substance that covers your teeth. It's like a shield that protects your teeth from decay. Just like our bodies wear out over time, so does your enamel. So how do we help keep that shield strong and carry that incredible smile with those beautiful pearly whites? We can help you there!
1. Eating foods that protect your enamel.
There are three bones that help you thrive in life: the wish bone, a back bone, and a funny bone. Behind the enamel, your teeth are made of dentin, which is a bone-like substance. Calcium in food counters acids in your mouth that cause decay. It also helps keep your bones and teeth strong.
Moooo! That's a place you find your calcium foods. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products help protect and strengthen enamel. Choose low-fat or fat-free items to help keep calories down.
If you don't eat dairy, look for foods with calcium added.
2. Sugary Foods and Drinks
Bacteria, acid and break down. Chemistry at it's finest. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar from foods and drinks. Then they make acids, which soften and wear away your enamel. Add in, chewy, sticky candies that stick on your teeth can also cause damage. Soft drinks often have extra sugar.
The better choice of soft drinks are the ones that are sugar free but they're also acidic and will wear down enamel over time. Even the flavored waters contain sugar that will break down the enamel over time.
The best choice when you're thirsty? A glass of plain water.
Guilty! I have brushed too hard to try and get those unwanted stains away. You can wear down your enamel if you brush too fast and hard. Hold a brush with a soft bristle at about a 45-degree angle to your gums. Then move it back and forth in short, gentle strokes, about the distance of one tooth.
4. Use Fluoride
"Nature's cavity fighter" is what The American Dental Association (ADA) calls fluoride because it strengthens your enamel and helps repair the early stages of tooth decay. When you get your teeth clean your hygienist will also apply fluoride before you leave. Fluoride also makes your teeth more resistant to acids that come from foods and from bacteria in your mouth. Rinsing with a mouthwash that has fluoride can also help prevent cavities and keep your enamel strong.
5. Treat Heartburn
If you have severe heartburn, stomach acids can escape and eventually reach your mouth, where they can erode enamel.
If you have this condition, talk to your doctor about treatment.
6. Grinding Your Teeth
A peaceful nights sleep can be interrupted by loud popping, scratching, crunching sounds. Your grinding your teeth! How do you know if you grind your teeth at night? If you wake up and your jaw is sore, flattened teeth, cracked or chipped teeth, teeth sensitivity, dull or achy pain around your ears or temple. You you get a swift pat on your side from your spouse who is wide awake from the noise! When people grind their upper and lower teeth together, over time it can wear down the enamel.
At Pax, we can help you with a custom mouthguard to help you sleep peacefully again.
7. Get Regular Checkups
To keep your teeth strong, see your dentist every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning. Our doctors and hygienist spot signs of trouble, such as cavities or teeth grinding, before they do a lot of damage.
At Pax, we will also make sure that you're getting the right amount of fluoride to harden and protect enamel. If your water supply isn't fluoridated, ask them if you need fluoride supplements, mouthwashes, or coatings for your teeth.
Ready, Set, Schedule.
Really, we can't wait to meet you! Not sure what you need? Come in for a check-up or for a teeth cleaning. We can take it from there and evaluate what might be the next step in your dental care. You can schedule by phone (301-863-8822) or by our online portal www.paxdental.com/schedule. See you soon.