Your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, and it plays a critical role in protecting the sensitive inner core of your teeth. Yet, the enamel is not invincible. It can be damaged by certain habits and foods and beverages, and patients who want to boost their dental health should also be taking steps to preserve their tooth enamel.
The first safeguard is maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen at home. To the extent that you can minimize oral bacteria through brushing and flossing, you’ll be limiting that bacteria’s opportunity to damage your enamel through tooth decay.
Of course, you should routinely visit your dentist for cleanings and examinations, too. Getting a professional cleaning will help to eliminate any traces of plaque and bacteria that you may have missed in your own oral hygiene self-care. [pullquote]The first safeguard is maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen at home.[/pullquote]
The best dentist will also recommend a fluoride treatment to protect a patient’s tooth enamel. The enamel routinely demineralizes (loses minerals) and re-mineralizes (gains minerals). That latter process offers a level of protection against tooth decay because it makes the enamel stronger.
A fluoride treatment helps to facilitate that remineralization. In younger patients, fluoride treatments are beneficial because it’s important for teeth to be exposed to adequate fluoride as a child grows. Fluoride treatments aren’t just for kids, though. As we get older, we’re at greater risk for enamel erosion, so fluoride treatments benefit adult patients as well.
Another step that patients can take to protect their tooth enamel is limiting their consumption of acidic and sugary foods and beverages. The acid can eat away at enamel, while sugary snacks can leave behind a residue that offers an excellent food source for harmful oral bacteria.
Additionally, if you have a problem with dry mouth you should either drink more water or consider an artificial saliva product. Your saliva is essential in clearing away that oral bacteria, so if it is insufficient, your enamel may suffer as a result.
Your tooth enamel is important to your oral health, so you should do everything possible to preserve it. If you have any concerns about the health of your enamel, contact the office of Dr. Gardner at 516-484-6394 to discuss the steps you can take to protect it.
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