Everyone one of your teeth comes with its own shield, there to protect the most sensitive part of your tooth from exposure to plaque, food, and other bacteria. It’s called tooth enamel, and it’s a hard, visible tissue that sits on top of each of your teeth. Without enamel, your teeth would be infinitely more vulnerable to cavities and decay.
But just because enamel is there to serve as a shield, that doesn’t mean it isn’t vulnerable to damage itself. Lack of proper dental hygiene can lead to the decline and loss of your tooth enamel. Enamel is the hardest substance found in the human body due to its make up, which is high in minerals. This make up means that enamel can decline in the process of demineralization, leading to cavities.
Small amounts of damage to tooth enamel is inevitable over time, but can be largely prevented through a good dental hygiene routine. Start by following this guide to preventing the loss of your tooth enamel.
Change Your Diet
Your oral hygiene does not exclusively revolve around how well you take care of your teeth, how often you brush your teeth, or how frequently you visit the dentist. It also has a lot to do with what you are putting in your mouth in the first place. Highly acidic foods and drinks like soda, fruit juices, or citrus fruits can do serious damage to your tooth enamel.
While it is best to cut these damaging foods out entirely, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can remedy these effects by washing out your mouth with water after consuming sodas or other highly acidic foods and drinks. When drinking soda, you can use a straw, which leads to less contact between the drink and your teeth.
Chew Sugar-free Gum
Chewing on a piece of gum will highly increase the amount of saliva present in your mouth. Saliva benefits your teeth by coating them with essential minerals. Chewing gum with sugar will completely defeat the purpose, though. Instead, chew a sugar free gum with xylitol, an ingredient shown to counteract the acid found in many food and drinks.
Water naturally rinses out your mouth, and is especially helpful if you have a notably dry mouth or a low amount of saliva. Everyone drinks water, and increasing water intake will have many other health benefits aside from enamel protection, so try to drink more than you’re already consuming.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste and Mouthwash
Fluoride is a chemical specifically used to boost dental health and rebuild your teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste in your regular brushing routine will prevent against the decay of tooth enamel, and maybe even help bring back some of your enamel that has already gone away.
Implementing a fluoride mouthwash into your teeth cleaning routine will only provide another source of teeth strengthening fluoride. Use fluoride mouthwash twice a day, swishing it around your mouth for a full minute, depending on the type of mouthwash you prefer.
Add Minerals Back to Your Teeth
There are multiple natural ways to increase the amount of minerals in your daily diet which will benefit your teeth. Coconut oil — the magical cure to everything it seems — vitamin D, and healthy fats are just a few things you can consume daily that will strengthen your enamel.
Stop Grinding Your Teeth
No matter how stressful your week has been, grinding your teeth isn’t going to solve any of your problems, especially your enamel related ones. Obviously, grinding your teeth against each other is going to cause decay. As I mentioned before, your enamel is the hardest part of your body, so grinding enamel against enamel is one of the easiest ways to damage this protective compound.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular visits to your dentist will keep you two steps ahead of your tooth enamel at all times. Your doctor will be able to diagnose what you’re doing right and what you can improve on in your fight against enamel decay. Plus, your dentist has tools that will be able to clean your mouth in ways you can’t match, so a visit to the dentist means a fresh start for your mouth. Plus, a stop at the dentist’s office means free floss and toothpaste, and that ever hurt anyone.