Tooth enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth, takes a lot of abuse on a daily basis, between all the chewing, biting, and grinding that occurs. Other than the fact that it protects your teeth, how much do you really know about enamel? In this post, your Riverside dentists share some interesting facts about this incredible material.
- Tooth enamel is the second hardest naturally-occurring substance on earth. The first is diamonds.
- Enamel is not sensitive, but not having enough enamel contributes to tooth sensitivity because the sensitive layer underneath, called dentin, is exposed.
- Chewing on non-food items, such as ice cubes or pencils, can scratch or chip tooth enamel.
- Acid reflux and bulimia cause enamel erosion because of the excessive contact between the teeth and stomach acid.
- Even though Vitamin C is vital for a healthy body, too much of it can destroy tooth enamel. Vitamin C supplements that you can swallow are better for your oral health than chewable pills.
- Be careful when brushing your teeth. Excessively strong brush strokes wear down enamel.
Protect Your Teeth with Minerals
Fluoride is one of the best minerals for tooth enamel protection. Every day, when you eat sugars or starches, acid forms in your saliva. The acid extracts minerals from your tooth enamel, leaving the enamel soft and vulnerable to bacteria. Fluoride has the awesome ability to attract other minerals to re-mineralize and re-strengthen tooth enamel. So, while you cannot prevent the acids in your mouth from demineralizing teeth, you can prompt re-mineralization.
Our dental office provides professional fluoride treatments for children and adults. The quick, topical application strengthens enamel, helping your teeth ward off decay and cavities. You can supplement your fluoride intake at home by using fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. Children, because their teeth are still growing, also benefit from ingesting fluoride. Most bottled water does not contain fluoride, but tap water usually does. Make sure your kids drink tap water if you want to bolster their fluoride intake.
For more information regarding oral health, or to schedule your next dental appointment, call Dental Associates of Riverside at (951) 369-1001. Our family dentist office serves patients throughout Riverside County, including Corona, Temecula, and Moreno Valley.