The strongest substance in the human body is also one of the most limited. But why is it so important? Read more to find out!
When it comes to oral health, there are many different and important facts to remember and things to take care of. But one of the most important things you need to be aware of and to protect is your enamel. I’m sure you’ve heard it being talked about it often in our offices, in commercials, and all over toothpaste boxes. But what is this mysterious substance and why is it so important?
Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and is the see-through outermost covering of your teeth. What creates the color of your teeth is something called dentin, and it shows through your enamel. The enamel in your teeth protects the dentin and everything below its surface. If your enamel is in good shape, the whiter your teeth will appear. If it is in danger the color can range from off white and yellow, to grey or have a bluish tint. Enamel insulates your teeth from potentially painful temperatures and chemicals. It helps protect the inner layers of your teeth from being damaged and protects your teeth from acids that can cause cavities along with many other attacks. Your enamel contains a high percentage of minerals, providing it with its strength. It is made up of 95% minerals, 4% water, and 1% proteins.
As amazing as enamel is, it is easy to lose. Once it is lost, you can’t restore it. Enamel has no living cells, so it can’t regrow. Without it, your teeth can receive a huge amount of damage and run a much higher risk of infection. There are a lot of enemies to enamel, and here are just a few of them:
The acid in food and drinks is one of the leading causes of damage and wears at enamel over time.
When plaque found in your mouth is mixed with sugars (natural or man-made) it attacks your enamel.
It can be harmed through abrasion. This can happen by brushing your teeth too often or too hard. It can also be caused by the overuse of very aggressive teeth whitening paste.
Dry mouth or low saliva flow can lead to damage of the enamel.
Acid Reflux and stomach issues can lead to damage.
Taking too much aspirin and acetaminophen.
Stress, friction, wear and tear.
Enamel is a very sensitive substance for as hard as it is. There are a few options that you can follow to help persevere your enamel, and we recommend that you seriously add them into your lifestyle!
Fluoride has been proven to strengthen enamel, if you can brush your teeth with toothpaste that has fluoride in it or use a mouth rinse with it, that can be a huge benefit!
Proper brushing and flossing techniques.
A healthy diet and eating habits.
Don’t brush right after you eat, wait 10-15 minutes after you’ve finished.
Drink acidic drinks with a straw.
Stay very hydrated.
Brush with a soft bristle brush.
Keeping your enamel healthy is very easy to do and worth your time. Share these tips with your family members and begin taking care of your enamel from a young age. You’ll be very thankful down the line to have strong, healthy, whiter teeth as the years go on. We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment – we might even talk about your enamel!