Standing between oral bacteria and tooth decay is your tooth enamel. This mineralized coating that surrounds teeth acts as a barrier to destructive bacteria that cause cavities and weaken teeth. It’s important to understand dental anatomy to develop an understanding of how to protect tooth enamel (and your teeth) from damage. Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body; in fact, it’s harder than bone. Although enamel is tough and durable, it can be damaged by common habits and lifestyle choices. Exposure to acid and teeth grinding can weaken enamel. Following are some helpful tips for protecting the health of your teeth.
Practice Thorough Oral Hygiene
Proper oral hygiene is an important factor in keeping teeth and gums healthy. When you brush and floss, you disrupt bacteria from colonizing and you remove food particles that serve as fuel to bacteria. Once bacteria feed on sugar compounds, they release acid as a by-product. Acid weakens tooth enamel over time. If you don’t keep your teeth and gums clean, bacteria will colonize and thrive in your mouth. By cleaning your teeth and gums, you can help starve bacteria. Be sure to brush at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and floss every day.
Do Not Grind Your Teeth or Chew on Inedible Objects
Grinding your teeth (bruxism) and chewing on inedible objects is a common way many people deal with stress and emotional upset. Unfortunately, chewing on hard objects or grinding one’s teeth can damage tooth enamel over time. Chewing on hard objects or teeth scraping against each other will ultimately wear down tooth enamel and leave the unprotected structures of teeth vulnerable to harmful bacteria.
Visit the Dentist for Regular Cleanings and Checkups
Even if you practice oral hygiene and avoid sugary or acidic food, you can put your teeth at risk if you forego regular checkups and cleanings at our practice. During visits to our office, our team will look for signs of enamel loss. If caught early on, we can take preventive measures such as administering fluoride treatments or placing dental sealants to protect teeth from permanent damage.
Call our dentist grand prairie office to schedule an appointment today!