It wasn’t that long ago that people had limited options for replacement if they lost teeth to age or oral health issues. While dentures have been around for a long time (George Washington’s were made of ivory and metal, rather than wood), they’ve definitely improved over the last century.
Still, it’s always better to keep your natural teeth as long as possible. This requires you to pay attention to your oral health and treat your teeth right. With proper dental care, even patients prone to oral health issues can prevent problems and keep their teeth healthy and strong for many years.
Part of tending to your teeth is keeping your enamel strong. Enamel is the hard, outer covering that protects your teeth from harmful elements like extreme temperatures and bacteria. However, it can be compromised in a number of ways, such as through cracking, chipping, and wear.
How can you protect your enamel so that your enamel can protect your teeth? Here are a few tips to keep your enamel strong.
1. Cut Back on Sweets
As any Baton Rouge or Birmingham dentist is sure to tell you, sugar is the one of the greatest threats when it comes to preserving tooth enamel. It certainly doesn’t help that sugar is so prevalent in the modern diet. If you want to take the best possible care of your enamel, the first thing you should do is consider the amount of sugar you consume.
Sugar feeds the bacteria that attacks your enamel and leads to plaque and tartar buildup. Soda is a major culprit, and most dentists will recommend that you quit drinking soda completely, especially if you drink it on a daily basis, as many Americans do. You should also cut back on sweets like candy, cookies, and so on. You are likely to be more successful in restricting your sugar intake if you start tracking the amount of sugar in the processed foods you frequently eat.
Sugar is often used not only to flavor processed foods, but also as a preservative. You might not even realize how much sugar is in your daily diet until you start reading labels. When you cut back significantly on sugar you have a much better chance of preserving your enamel.
2. Add Calcium to Your Diet
What you choose to eat is just as important as what you cut out of your diet. Certain foods are going to do more to keep your tooth enamel strong than others. Of particular interest where healthy teeth are concerned is an adequate supply of calcium.
This mineral is responsible for keeping the bones in your body healthy and strong, and that includes your teeth. In addition, certain cheeses can help to balance the pH in your mouth, reducing acids that eat away at the enamel, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
You should also make sure to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is not only beneficial to all the tissues in your body, but it also aids saliva, your body’s natural rinsing mechanism, in clearing away leftover food and bacteria.
3. Beat Bad Habits
If you’ve managed to quit smoking or using tobacco products that can harm your teeth and your overall health, you’ve taken a good first step. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that getting rid of one bad habit can lead to the formation of another.
For example, many people turn to sweets to stave off cravings for tobacco. Or you might start chewing gum or gnawing on pencils and pens, both of which are bad for your teeth. You may also experience higher stress levels, which could lead to clenching or grinding (bruxism).
Bad habits can be detrimental to your oral health, and especially to protective tooth enamel. So talk to your preferred dentist in Birmingham AL about how to correct these issues.
4. Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat
Caring for your teeth requires a daily regimen that includes proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash at least twice a day. Think about asking your dentist for a tutorial if the last time you learned to brush and floss was as a small child. You could be brushing too hard, for example, and doing more harm than good.
5. Regular Dental Visits
You can do a lot on behalf of your oral health, but if you want the very best chance to keep your enamel strong and preserve your natural teeth, it’s important to see a dentist regularly for checkup, cleaning, and other needed services.