When it comes to tooth enamel, there’s a few things everyone should know and be wary of.
Firstly, we’ll answer the most basic question – what is tooth enamel?
Tooth enamel is the outer covering of your teeth, which protects them from decay, as well as other daily uses, like chewing, grinding and so forth. Your enamel also protects your teeth from extreme temperatures and potentially harmful chemicals.
Tooth enamel is actually the hardest tissue in the human body – it’s even stronger than bone – meaning you should take extremely good care of your teeth, and likewise, your tooth enamel.
Enamel damage does happen though and it can occur in two major ways – abrasion or erosion.
Abrasion is caused by something rubbing consistently against your teeth harshly. Examples of enamel abrasion are:
- Brushing your teeth too harshly or with a hard-bristled toothbrush.
- Stabbing at your teeth with toothpicks.
- Scraping your teeth when removing retainers or dentures.
Erosion, on the other hand, is caused by the tooth enamel being consistently exposed to acids from foods and drinks, or regurgitated acids from the stomach. Enamel erosion can be caused by excessive consumption of:
- Soft drinks.
- Fruit drinks.
- A diet high in sugar and starches.
Dry mouth, acid reflux disease, certain medications (such as Aspirin and antihistamines) also contribute to enamel erosion, as well as toxins released by plaque bacteria around your gums.
In contrast to a broken bone, once your tooth enamel is damaged, that damage is done forever. Even though your tooth enamel can’t be truly restored, you can prevent enamel damage with a consistent, and solid, oral care routine.
- Utilize toothpaste that specifically protects your enamel.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash each day.
- And of course, floss your teeth once, and brush your teeth twice every day.
Learn more about tooth enamel damage and repair in this article from the Crest website, or stop by the NY Dental Group office with your questions!