Our enamel is that shiny hard surface covering our teeth which helps to shield them from decay. Protecting our enamel and keeping it strong is easy to do if you know how. Unfortunately, once you have damaged or eroded it, it is impossible to regenerate it. Take advantage of these 9 tips to improve your enamel health and keep those pearly whites sparkling.
Stay Away from Sugary Foods and Drinks
The bacteria in our mouth grows from the sugar left on teeth. This bacteria can encourage the production of acid, which will soften and wear on the enamel. Chewy candy and sugary drinks stick to teeth causing that acid to remain on our gums and enamel. Watch out for flavored waters as they can also be quite acidic.
Use a Soft Toothbrush
Believe it or not you can actually damage your enamel by brushing too hard. Don’t brush with a heavy hand and keep the brush at a 45 degree angle at the gum line. Your teeth will get just as clean with a lighter touch.
Choose the Right Foods to Benefit Your Enamel
Eating calcium rich foods will help fight the acid left on your teeth, plus it keeps bones and teeth strong. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products will not only protect your enamel, but also will strengthen it. Always select low fat or no fat dairy products to keep the calorie content low if you are worried about how this particular tip may affect your waistline.
If you can’t eat dairy, try other calcium rich foods like leafy greens, spinach, and salmon.
Get Help for Heartburn
That may seem like a strange tip, but when you have heartburn, acid reflux, and other stomach upset issues, the acid from your stomach finds its way into your mouth and can destroy your enamel over time. Always treat stomach upset with OTC medications or talk to Dr. JD Robinette about other treatments.
Drink Water and Stay Hydrated
Saliva is the magic potion that washes away bacteria left on teeth from foods. Drinking water helps to keep your mouth moist and avoid dry mouth. Chew sugarless gum and drink plenty of water to keep the saliva flowing.
Use Toothpaste with Fluoride
When the first tooth appears in a child’s mouth, begin to use toothpaste with fluoride. It has the following benefits:
- Fights cavities and decay
- Resistant to acids
- Helps to strengthen enamel
A fluoride rinse will also give you a little extra protection. Talk to Dr. Robinette about a topical fluoride at your next visit.
Get Help If You Grind Your Teeth
This is one of the worst behaviors that can break down enamel. This usually occurs at night while sleeping, so ask Dr. Robinette about fitting you with a mouth guard to stop the process.
Use a Straw
Yes, a straw will help you protect enamel. You may have noticed people using a straw to drink red wine. This helpful little habit prevents the wine from staining teeth as it pushes the drink to the back of the throat and avoids contact with the teeth entirely. The same can be said for coffee, tea, and dark soft drinks.
See Your Dentist
Keep regular appointments, ask Dr. Robinette about the state of your enamel, and brush and floss at least twice a day. Regular dental cleanings can provide a wake up call if you need to make some changes to keep your enamel strong and healthy.