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Dr. Na Xu
Healthy Smiles Family Dental

2601 25th St., Suite 400
Salem, OR 97302

P: (503) 385-1185
F: (503) 339-1981

Keeping Your Tooth Enamel Strong

Posted on 4/20/2015 by Na Xu

A diagram of the inside of a tooth.

What is Tooth Enamel?

Enamel is the surface of each tooth and it must be taken care of to keep a healthy smile. Enamel is also one of the strongest substances found in the body. Normal wear and tear is common with anyone, even those who take extremely good care of their teeth. This wear and tear can lead to the breakdown of enamel which allows the dentin in the tooth to be exposed. When the dentin is exposed so are the nerves.

This makes cold, hot, and sweet foods and beverages able to penetrate past where the enamel once was and cause them to irritate the nerves which can cause severe pain and discomfort.

Protect your Enamel with Certain Foods.

Many of your dairy products such as milk and cheese have calcium in it which helps to counteract against the acids that accumulate in the mouth. The calcium also helps to keep your bones strong, including your teeth. If milk and cheese is not your idea of great ways to take in calcium, look for calcium rich foods, or foods that have it added in, as a substitute. Be sure to avoid foods that have a high sugar or carb content as these can produce this bad bacteria that causes the acid to accumulate in the mouth.

Red wine can have benefits and downfalls. It can stain your teeth, which can be reversed with a professional cleaning, but it can also combat tooth decay. Cranberry juice also has the same cleansing properties as red wine. Another beverage that can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease is Green tea. Green tea has fluoride in it and catechin polyphenols.

Sugar and carbs can damage or weaken the enamel in your teeth. Most people know to stay away from sugar, because candy can give you cavities, but other foods to stay away from include whole grains and pasta. The body changes over the starch from the whole grains and pasta into sugar when saliva hits it. Other foods that have the same effect when introduced to saliva are dried fruits. Yogurt can help to strengthen teeth because it has calcium in it. However, it can also hurt teeth because of the acidity found in it.

Over Brushing Your Teeth Can Hurt Tooth Enamel.

When you brush more than you should the enamel on your teeth starts to wear down. Brushing too fast or too hard can also cause this to happen. If you are a lover of fruits that are citrusy or love to indulge in sweets, try waiting about an hour to brush. This can help prevent further damage to your teeth. Be sure to change out your toothbrush every three months to prevent the bristles from becoming weak and ineffective.

Fluoride! Fluoride! Fluoride!
Fluoride can be found in several toothpaste brands and in mouthwash. It helps fight cavities and strengthens the enamel. It can also fight off the early stages of decay and build up a protective barrier against acidic contents. However, you can use too much Fluoride.

There are two major ways that fluoride can be applied to the teeth.

•  Topical: Fluoride is applied to the teeth using a medium like mouth rinse, toothpaste, and dental treatments, all of which contain Fluoride.
•  Systemic: Fluoride is ingested through the intake of water or supplements. When it is ingested it provides your saliva with fluoride to help cleanse your teeth.

Drinking water can be very beneficial to your body. However, drinking bottled water that has been through the process of reverse osmosis, it is unlikely to have any fluoride cleansing properties. As long as you are using one intake method of fluoride, you are safe.

Have questions about your tooth enamel? Contact us today for more information.

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