What Exactly Is Tooth Enamel?

oral healthTooth enamel is essential to your oral health. After all, it’s what covers your teeth and protects them from becoming damaged. So when your enamel wears down, you’re at greater risk for tooth decay. But what, exactly, is tooth enamel and how can you protect it? Read on to learn more to ensure you have a healthy mouth for years to come.

Tooth enamel is the outermost substance on your teeth. It rivals your bones for being the hardest substance in the human body and protects the nerves in your teeth from extreme hot or hold, which can cause sensitivity. When your tooth enamel is exposed to acid and bacteria buildup, it can erode and decay. And while enamel is a protective surface, it can easily crack or chip. This usually happens when you eat hard foods or when food gets stuck between your teeth. The easiest way to tell if you’ve cracked a tooth is if you feel pain when chewing, or when you drink something hot or cold.

For Healthy Enamel, Watch What You Eat
To effectively protect your enamel, there are certain foods and drinks you should avoid. Soda, for example, contains high levels of sugar and acid which can dissolve your enamel over time. Sports drinks and energy drinks are other culprits for erosion because they also have a significant amount of acid. Avoid these drinks to protect against enamel breakdown. Other contributors to decay include foods with vinegar, such as vinegar-based salad dressings or even potato chips. And it bears repeating that candy is a no-no if you want to preserve your tooth enamel. The high levels of sugar are main proponents for enamel decay.

Restoring Tooth Enamel
If your tooth enamel begins to erode, visit your dentist as soon as possible, especially if you’re experiencing tooth pain. Having regular checkups, as well as brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, are excellent ways to stop tooth decay and enamel erosion in its tracks.

To learn more about keeping your tooth enamel healthy, contact Dr. Stanley Hirst, DDS, and Bethany Jensen, DDS, at Broadway Family Dentistry today by calling 701-839-1299. We look forward to hearing from you!

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