Despite the importance of tooth enamel to oral health, many people do not comprehend how tooth enamel functions and are unable to prevent erosion effectively. So in this article, you will get a clear idea of what tooth enamel is and to take care of it!
What is the enamel of teeth?
Enamel is the white, firm, and glossy outer layer of teeth that protects the underlying tissues. It is the toughest material in the human body, even harder than bone, and is composed of minerals. These minerals give enamel strength, allowing it to defend teeth from injury and maintain them white, healthy, and sparkling.
Composition and structure of the enamel
Enamel comprises no nerves or blood vessels, but roughly it includes Hydroxyapatite and other components like calcium, phosphorus, carbonate, etc. Approximately 1% of enamel contains proteins and water.
The appearance of the enamel can differ from one individual to another. It is because of its quality of being semi-translucent. A range of hues from whitish to light yellow is considered the standard and general appearance of enamel. The color of your enamel generally depends on the quality of your dental hygiene.
How tooth enamel protects your teeth?
Tooth enamel serves as a protective barrier for the more delicate dentin layer. It serves as the first line of protection for your teeth against the damaging acids in certain meals.
When you ingest acidic foods or beverages, they may erode your tooth enamel, and the process is known as “tooth erosion.” Tooth erosion may expose the inner dentin of your teeth over time, possibly resulting in tooth discomfort.
Regrowth of enamel
Unfortunately, the enamel cannot grow back. Once it is damaged, decayed, or destroyed, the enamel cannot grow back. Since your renewal is not constructed of living cells, it cannot grow itself back.
What can cause your enamel damage?
The foods you have and the drinks as well can influence your enamel health. Acidic foods, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, dried fruits, and candies, can potentially damage your enamel. And drinks like sodas and beverages that contain damaging acids and sugar also can damage your teeth’ enamel.
Symptoms of enamel loss
Certain signs indicate that you might be having enamel loss. Here are some of them:
- Teeth discoloration – When your enamel starts to wear down, your teeth usually turn yellowish as the yellow dentin layer underneath might become more noticeable.
- Teeth that generally wear down — Erosion may wear down the biting edges of teeth.
- Increased tooth sensitivity – As enamel wears away, the underlying, softer dentin layer may become exposed, resulting in increased tooth sensitivity.
How to take care of the enamel?
Eating the right food items, avoiding damaging food items, and ensuring optimum oral and dental hygiene will help you take the best care of your enamel. Plaque bacteria, excess carbohydrates, and acids damage enamel, which may result in tooth decay over time. So here’s a list of food items that you must avoid preventing enamel erosion:
- Gummy candies and sweets
- Soda and other sweetened beverages
- Any sticky food items
- Alcoholic beverages
In addition to maintaining oral hygiene, diet is an essential part that can help improve oral health. So here’s a list of food items that you can have and yet will help prevent decay:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Gum without added sugar stimulates saliva production.
- Black and green tea combat plaque-causing bacteria
- Dairy products aid in saliva production and are often rich in calcium.
- Any food, beverage, or substance containing fluoride will strengthen teeth.
Final tips to protect your enamel
Remember, your enamel might be strong, but it requires support and a consistent supply of minerals, or else the acid-producing bacteria may lead to tooth decay. Since enamel erosion cannot be reversed, ensure the best care for your enamel and enjoy the brightest smile. Do not forget to brush your teeth twice daily, drink plenty of water and visit your dentist every six months.