Your tooth enamel is the most important barrier your teeth have against bacteria. When bacteria are able to infiltrate the enamel, they eventually cause cavities. Reducing enamel damage and finding ways to strengthen weak enamel is your best defense against potential dental problems.
Start With Your Diet
A poor diet is not only deficient in trace minerals responsible for keeping your enamel strong, it may also have other qualities that weaken it. Acidic foods are a major culprit in weakening enamel. Citrus foods and beverages can seem obviously acidic, but other beverages, such as soda and coffee, are also highly acidic. Eating a diet high in sugar, especially without proper oral care, only provides fuel for the bacteria responsible for the break-down of your enamel.
Eating a diverse diet and taking supplements can be essential to supporting tooth health. It is best to avoid chewing on anything overly hard, whether food or inanimate objects. For example, some people have a habit of chewing on pencils, often because of anxiety. Munching on ice and peanut brittle are other things you should avoid. It is important to brush after meals, but brushing too soon after consuming something acidic could actually cause more harm to your teeth. Be sure to wait at least an hour after your meal before brushing.
Choose The Right Dental Products
To improve your enamel, you should incorporate products that are made for this purpose, especially toothpaste. These products typically contain fluoride and may contain other minerals responsible for enamel health. The benefit of these products is they not only help repair damage to the enamel, but they also protect against daily threats to it, like acidic foods and beverages. Another advantage of these products is as they are strengthening enamel, they can also reduce tooth sensitivity. Many people who have difficulties with cold or hot foods and beverages have weakened enamel.
Additionally, you may find that other products are detrimental to your enamel. Avoid toothpaste with gritty particles that are supposed to be designed to help clean the teeth and/or act as a whitening product. Some dental floss can be found with particles embedded in it to help remove stains between teeth. This gritty texture may do more harm to your teeth and can also irritate your gums. Another concern is whitening products, such as gels and strips. It is better to leave whitening up to the professionals than risk damaging your enamel with at-home kits.
Have Professional Cleanings
Having professional dental cleanings at least twice per year is another strategy to improve your enamel. Cleanings help remove built-up plaque and tartar that keep bacteria at or below the gum line. These bacteria destroy enamel, leading to cavities. During cleanings, your hygienist will use special instruments capable of removing the hard deposits without damaging your teeth. After all the teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, your hygienist will finish up with a fluoride treatment. Since your teeth are currently as clean as possible, this is the best time for a fluoride treatment because it can adhere to the teeth without obstruction. Some people may benefit from getting fluoride treatments more often to reduce tooth sensitivity and prevent cavities.
Paying special attention to your diet and using the right oral care products are a few ways you can protect your existing enamel while also strengthening weak areas. In addition to your lifestyle, dental cleanings are not just about removing plaque and tartar, but they are essential to maintaining strong enamel.
For more tips about keeping your teeth clean and healthy, contact a local dentist office near you to learn more.