When you look in the mirror and see a white and shiny smile, it is easy to think that your teeth are protected from any damage for life. Well, it’s the enamel, positioned at the front surface of your teeth, that’s designed to protect them from erosion and harmful substances.
The enamel is considered the hardest substance in the body, and if you ever wondered which part of the tooth acts as the protective layer for a shiny white, it’s the enamel.
Now, the enamel may be the hardest, but it can also become weak. There are some signs to see weak enamel. This is dependent on the foreign substances it attracts. These foreign substances include sugar and acid. Drinks such as soda contain a high volume of sugar and sugar is the number one substance that causes weak enamel.
Weak enamel is typically called by the food and drink you consume. Before understanding more about weak enamel, it is important to understand its causes and prevention tips to keep your enamel strong.
What is Tooth Enamel?
Teeth are composed of dental tissue, the enamel, the dentin and the cementum. The tooth enamel is a dense material that surrounds the front surface of your teeth, the part that you show off every day when you smile, and it is designed to protect your smile from harmful foreign substances.
The enamel measures a few millimetres thick and is composed of a variety of colours.
What’s important to know is that tooth enamel does not grow back. Foreign substances eat away at the enamel to expose your smile to bacteria and infection. This is what’s known as enamel erosion.
What Causes Weak Enamel?
Acid ranks at the top of the tree as the key cause of weak enamel. There are also environmental causes as well. This leaves the tooth vulnerable without protection, exposing the underlying dentin. Less exposure is the best way to reduce weak enamel.
Acid Erosion Causes
Commonly, weak enamel stems from the food and drink you consume. These include the following:
- Fruit drinks that are high in natural and carbonated sugar
- Sour food and candy
- Drinking sodas and alcohol
- High amounts of vitamin C
Environmental Erosion Causes
Weak enamel can also occur due to your environment. Your environment also includes certain oral health habits that can contribute to it.
- Dry mouth or low saliva flow
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Bruxism (or teeth grinding)
- Overzealous brushing
- Poor brushing technique
- Acid reflux causes frequent vomiting
- Dental plaque build-up
As part of your oral routine, it is important that you avoid overzealous brushing. This is when excessive force is applied to your teeth with your toothbrush. This can cause the bristles to become soft and, instead of accumulating bacteria off your teeth, it will spread it, causing further damage to your enamel.
There is an appropriate brushing technique you must follow to ensure you’re getting the maximum results for your smile. Consult the dentist on tips to brush your teeth the right way.
How Can I Fix Tooth Enamel Erosion?
The tooth enamel cannot grow back once it’s lost. Therefore, if you’re already experiencing weak enamel, you can prevent it from getting worse. To do this, the enamel needs strengthening, and it needs the appropriate minerals to build it back up. Strengthening the enamel is known as remineralization.
To perform remineralization, follow these preventions and recommendations to prevent the enamel from getting worse.
- Brush and floss your teeth twice a day
- Visiting the dentist regularly for dental cleanings
- Avoid acidic food and drink and replace them with healthy meals which contain calcium
- Swish your mouth with lukewarm water after eating to reduce dental plaque build-up
- Consult the dentist regarding any conditions that need support such as teeth grinding
The dentist can also recommend certain dental treatments to protect your enamel. The dentist may suggest dental bonding, a form of treatment where the dentist places a tooth-coloured resin on your teeth to bond them together.
Consult your dentist on the treatment that’s right for you, and begin fixing weak enamel and strengthening your smile by starting with these tips. If you live near Wollongong and Fairy Meadow area, our Dentist 4 U is the best choice for your dental needs.