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What Damages the Enamel on Your Teeth?

The enamel on your teeth play a very important role in your dental health. Enamel is the outer layer of the tooth. It protects the inner layer, known as the dentin, and the layer below that, which is the pulp. With proper dental hygiene habits, you can keep the enamel on your teeth strong and maintain good dental health. However, if you tend to skip brushing or flossing, your enamel can be damaged, causing tooth decay and other problems. In this blog post, we’ll discuss foods, drinks, and habits that can damage the enamel on your teeth, and how to prevent damage to tooth enamel.

What Damages Tooth Enamel?

Food and Drink

Most damage to tooth enamel comes from a combination of food, drink, and poor dental habits. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth, plaque builds up on them. Plaque is a sugary film from sweet foods and starches. Bacteria in your mouth eat this plaque, and produce acids as a byproduct. These acids eat away at your enamel, and cause cavities and tooth decay. The more sugars and starches you consume, the more acid is produced.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can occur as one of the side effects of certain medications. The reason this affects enamel is because the saliva in your mouth neutralizes the enamel-eating acids that are present, and also makes enamel stronger with minerals. No saliva means more acid, which is bad news for enamel.

Digestive and Eating Problems

If stomach acid gets into your mouth frequently as a result of a digestive problem like acid reflux or an eating disorder such as bulimia, it will wear away at enamel.

Grinding Teeth

Teeth-grinding, also known as bruxism, is very bad for enamel, as it will wear it away over time.

Chewing on Non-Food Items

If you chew on things like fingernails, pens, or ice, or if you use your mouth to open packages or bottles, you could risk damaging enamel, not to mention chipping a tooth.

Whitening Products

If used improperly, some whitening products can damage your enamel.

How to Protect Your Enamel

The best and easiest way to protect your enamel is to brush and floss your teeth regularly. Drinking milk or eating a piece of cheese after a meal can help neutralize acids, as can chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol, which causes you to produce more saliva.

damage tooth enamel

About Olney Dental

Olney Dental has been providing comprehensive dental care for residents of Olney and the surrounding area since 1985. We’re conveniently located on the campus of Montgomery General Hospital, and provide care for all ages for children to adults and seniors. We’re also independently owned by our dentists, which allows us be patient driven in our approach to dentistry. Your smiles make us smile! You can also connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and YouTube.



This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.