Although it is thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the critical job of safeguarding teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also safeguards tooth nerves from hot and cold food and beverages. That’s why enamel loss often causes tooth sensitivity.
Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly incredible. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone. The team at David C. Montz DDS, PA & Associates – Family, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry encourages our patients to guard their tooth enamel for a lifetime of dental health in Pearland.
Brushing After You Eat
This may seem counter intuitive, but sometimes it is better NOT to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Furthermore, rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid.
If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already transpired. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – your teeth will thank you for it.
Chew on This
Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva safeguards your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left exposed. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the answer for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water periodically can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.
Don’t Grind Your Teeth
Additionally, tooth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many Pearland residents who grinds their teeth at night, it’s essential to get a mouth guard immediately. People who grind their teeth are at a high risk for enamel erosion and the cavities that can follow. Athletes should also protect their teeth on the playing field with a mouth guard. For more specifics about dental health in Pearland, communicate with Dr. David C. Montz at David C. Montz DDS, PA & Associates – Family, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry about custom mouth guards.
Using teeth as tools can impair enamel, as well. Take a moment to fetch scissors before tearing a package or ripping duct tape with your teeth. Do you really want to take a chance on chipping a tooth just to open a package of lunch meat?
Avoid Hard Candy
Chewing ice and hard candy can also damage enamel. If you simply must have sugar, soft candy is best as long as it is not left to sit on teeth for long period of time. If your molars are packed with gummy candy, it can lead to cavities which erode enamel just as capably as chipping it with hard candy. Many of the old-school hard candies we enjoyed as kids now come in soft versions. Enjoy them sparingly because constant sugar is bad for teeth. Period.
If you have already experienced enamel erosion or other dental troubles, Dr. David C. Montz can help you safeguard your dental health in Pearland. With General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer services such as root canal treatment and dental implants. To schedule an examination or to receive a teeth whitening treatment, contact David C. Montz DDS, PA & Associates – Family, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry in Pearland by giving us a call!
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