Natural teeth have an enamel coating, which serves as armor that protects against invading bacteria. Weakened enamel makes you susceptible to cavities and costly structural damage to teeth.
Although you cannot regrow enamel that has eroded, you can protect remaining enamel and strengthen teeth so they are more resistant to bacterial and structural damage. One way is limiting the frequency of eating and drinking.
Every time you eat or drink something (other than plain water), an acid attack begins in your mouth. This is the initial part of the digestive process. However, what’s in your mouth feed bacteria, helping them to reproduce. While sugary and starchy foods and drinks provide bacteria with an ideal substance for growth, all foods contribute.
Limit your eating to mealtime and avoid snacking. If you must snack, select carrots, celery and foods that actually ‘scrape’ teeth as you chew. Cheeses are other good choices, as they help to neutralize oral acidity.
Brushing with a stiff toothbrush can also wear away healthy tooth enamel. Use a soft toothbrush and brush at least 2 minutes twice (or more) a day using a fluoride toothpaste. Chew sugar-free gum between meals when you cannot brush to boost saliva flow, which has a cleansing effect in the mouth.
Also, consider using a remineralizing gel with calcium phosphate and fluoride. These gels have been proven to help remineralize tooth enamel. You can thoroughly cover all surfaces of the teeth by spreading the gel in teeth whitening trays and wearing for several hours or overnight.
Finally, be sure to keep your 6-month cleaning appointments. During these, we remove destructive plaque buildup and can note teeth showing signs of weakened enamel. This way, you can take measures between checkups to prevent further damage from occurring. Sealants may be recommended to help you avoid cavities. Crowns or veneers may also be advised for teeth that are especially vulnerable due to enamel loss.
If you’re past due on dental check-ups or feel your teeth are becoming more transparent (a sign of enamel loss), contact us at 1-866-9-Smiles for an appointment. Tending to enamel loss or its potential early can help you avoid costly repairs in the future.