How to Keep Your Tooth Enamel Strong?
The protective outer layer of your teeth is called enamel, which helps to prevent decay. Some wear and tear are natural, but there are many things you can do to keep it strong. By following these simple steps, you can maintain a healthy mouth and a bright smile.
1. Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
Microorganisms in your mouth consume sugar from foods and drinks and produce acids that weaken and erode your enamel. Sticky candies that cling to your teeth can also cause damage.
Soft drinks, including those with artificial sweeteners, can be acidic and erode enamel over time. While artificially sweetened sodas may be a better choice than those with sugar, they still have the potential to damage your teeth.
2. Eat Foods That Protect Enamel
Foods rich in calcium counteract the acid in your mouth that leads to decay and help to maintain strong bones and teeth. Dairy products like milk and cheese help to protect and strengthen enamel, according to Pamela L. Quinones, former president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Opt for low-fat or fat-free options to keep calorie intake in check.
3. Abstain from Over-Brushing.
Excessive and aggressive brushing can erode your enamel. Hold a toothbrush with soft bristles at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use gentle, circular strokes to clean each tooth. Wait for at least an hour after consuming sweets or citrus fruits before brushing your teeth to avoid damaging softened enamel caused by acidic foods.
4. Treat Heartburn and Eating Disorders
If you have severe acid reflux, stomach acids can escape and reach your mouth, where they can erode enamel. The eating disorder bulimia, in which people vomit food after eating, is another threat to your enamel. If you have either condition, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
5. Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
Some people grind their upper and lower teeth together, especially at night, which can wear down enamel over time. If you have a grinding habit, talk to your dentist. They may recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect your teeth.