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Your teeth are coated by a semi-clear, hard outer layer called enamel that protects them from daily wear and tear. In fact, tooth enamel is the strongest part of your body! Enamel protects your teeth from such things as extreme temperatures of food or beverages, or acids and chemicals that make their way into your mouth, causing damage to your teeth.
When your enamel wears away, your teeth are more sensitive to cavities and decay. Without enamel, the sensitive part of your teeth is exposed, leaving it vulnerable to destructive substances, breakages, and extreme temperatures. Unfortunately, enamel can’t be replaced, so it’s important to do what you can to prevent tooth enamel loss. Today, Advanced Dental Care of Anderson will be giving you the rundown on how to prevent tooth enamel loss!
Causes of Enamel Loss
The first step in preventing tooth enamel loss is to know what causes it. The main culprit of enamel loss is the acids in foods and beverages you consume. Your saliva constantly neutralizes the acid in your mouth to protect your teeth, but it can only do so much.
Sour foods and candies and certain drugs or supplements such as vitamin C have a lot of acid in them and should be consumed in moderation. Bacteria that lives in your mouth thrives on sugar, so too many sweets can also contribute to enamel erosion, as the bacteria in your mouth makes acids that can eat away at enamel. People with acid reflux, GERD, or heartburn often suffer higher rates of enamel loss because these diseases bring stomach acids into the mouth which can damage the enamel.
Dry mouth can also contribute to tooth enamel loss. Saliva helps to prevent tooth decay by washing away leftover food and bacteria in your mouth. High levels of acidity in your mouth is the biggest threat to your enamel, so it’s important to be aware of how you may be contributing to that when trying to preserve your enamel.
Tips to Prevent Enamel Loss
Now that you understand how enamel erosion occurs, we’ve gathered a handy list of tips to help you preserve your tooth enamel.
Monitor Your Soda Intake
Soda may be refreshing to drink, but it is destructive to your enamel when consumed in large amounts. Sodas are full of sugar which, as mentioned earlier, fuels the production of bacteria in your mouth. To protect your enamel, cut back on acidic, sugary drinks such as sodas and juices. When you do drink something acidic, be sure to do it at mealtimes to make it easier on your enamel.
Cut Back on the Citrus
We’re willing to bet that you’ve heard the adage “everything in moderation.” This applies to citrus fruits as well! Oranges, grapefruits, or beverages flavored with lemon or lime juice are fairly acidic and can wreak havoc on your enamel. You don’t have to cut citrus fruits out completely; just be mindful of how much you are consuming. You can help prevent enamel loss by drinking water at the same time to rinse away the acidic juices.
Eat More Dairy
While acidic foods can be destructive to your enamel, cheese and dairy products can help build it back up! Eating cheese products causes a production of saliva, which protects enamel by washing away debris and acids. Dairy products are also high in calcium, which can help strengthen enamel.
Chew Gum After Eating
Like dairy products, chewing gum after meals helps stimulate the production of saliva. It’s important to chew sugar-free gum so that you aren’t adding any extra sugar to your mouth. This will lower the amount of acid in your mouth and help protect your enamel.
Consume Alcohol in Moderation
Most of us enjoy a pint of beer or a glass of wine every so often. However, alcoholic beverages, like sodas, tend to be high in sugar and very acidic, which can be damaging to your enamel. Alcohol is also dehydrating, which can cause dry mouth. Consider cutting back your alcohol intake if you are worried about enamel loss. When you do drink, it is important to dilute the damage to your enamel by drinking water alongside your alcoholic beverage.
Restorative Dentistry Services at Advanced Dental Care of Anderson
Following these tips will help to preserve your tooth enamel. The best way to treat enamel loss is to prevent it from happening! Many people, however, have already experienced significant enamel erosion. If you are concerned about enamel loss, your local dentist can help you with a few techniques. Here at Advanced Dental Care of Anderson, we offer restorative dentistry services to help people who are suffering from enamel loss.
Patients who have experienced enamel erosion may benefit from Advanced Dental Care services such as dental fillings, crowns and bridges, or dental sealants. Contact us today to learn more about our restorative dentistry services!