Tooth enamel is the outermost and toughest part of the tooth. It’s also the hardest tissue in your body. The enamel protects the tooth’s inner structures, including the dentin and pulp (the innermost chamber that hosts the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves). Strong and healthy enamel is essential to protect the tooth from damage from daily use, like biting, chewing, and grinding food. It protects the tooth from painful temperatures, bacteria, and acidic attacks.
While tough, the enamel can wear down, crack, or chip. Common signs that your enamel is damaged include:
Visit our New Westminster dental clinic for these or other dental problems. A damaged or eroded enamel makes your tooth vulnerable to fractures and decay.
Avoid these six things to keep your teeth healthy:
While healthy and nutritious, some foods can compromise your dental health. For instance, acidic items like lemons, grapefruit, limes, oranges, and apple cider vinegar can erode your tooth enamel when consumed regularly. Similarly, sugary, sticky, dried fruits and chewy items can encourage bacteria and plaque buildup in the mouth, increasing your risk of enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Hard items like raw nuts and ice can cause your enamel to chip, crack, or break. Acidic and highly pigmented items like sodas, coffee, tea, wine, and sauces can cause your teeth to look dull, yellowish, or discolored.
Bruxism is a common problem where one grinds their teeth and clenches their jaw unconsciously, especially during sleep. Unfortunately, grinding your teeth back and forth significantly wears down your enamel and makes your teeth susceptible to decay and fractures. If you have bruxism, your dentist can design a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth.
Certain habits like chewing on pens, cutting nails, and opening packages can cause your tooth to chip, crack, or break. For the sake of your teeth, avoid using your teeth as a tool.
Years of consuming coloured and acidic items like coffee, tea, sodas, wine, and sauces can make your teeth appear darker and stained. While tooth whitening is a safe and effective way to brighten your smile, doing it too often can wear down your enamel, making your teeth vulnerable to decay and fractures. Avoid staining habits to keep your teeth brighter and prevent the need for regular teeth whitening.
Tobacco is the number one cause of stubborn teeth stains. Smoking compromises both your oral and overall health. It can increase your risk of gum disease, bad breath, and certain cancers. Excessive alcohol use can increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. The risk is higher when you both smoke and abuse alcohol. It’s better to limit or avoid tobacco and alcohol for the sake of your overall health.
Some medications can cause a dry mouth, leading to bacteria and acids buildup in the mouth, increasing your risk of enamel erosion and tooth decay. For instance, medicines used to treat diabetes and Alzheimer’s can cause dry mouth. You can speak with your doctor if your medications are affecting your mouth.
Below are practical tips to protect your teeth and prevent enamel damage:
Do you need more information about proper dental care hygiene and habits? Or are you looking for dental treatments? Contact Asante Dental Centre to speak with our dentist in New Westminster.