Why Is Tooth Enamel Important?

Why Is Tooth Enamel Important?

Your tooth enamel is the most mineralized and hardest substance in the body. It protects the teeth from the extreme pressure of chewing and the corrosive acids of the bacteria in the mouth. The enamel on the teeth is also the body's first defense against one of the most common dental diseases: tooth decay.

Each tooth in the mouth has enamel which mostly consists of the mineral hydroxyapatite. It is the most visible part of the teeth and the color tends to vary from a greyish white to a light yellow color. The enamel of your teeth is semi-translucent, so it is partially responsible for the color of the teeth.

The importance of tooth enamel

Tooth enamel plays a very important role when it comes to keeping tooth decay at bay. That is one of the reasons why it is so important that people do everything possible to prevent the enamel from eroding. The enamel serves as a barrier that protects the inner layers of a person's teeth, known as dentin, from the acids and other debris in the mouth. The enamel of the teeth also protects the dentin from the temperatures of the beverages and foods one consumes.

When the enamel weakens, the body is not capable of making a new one to replace it. Tooth enamel does not contain living cells, so it is not possible to regenerate it the same way the body regenerates damaged bone tissue.

Protecting tooth enamel

One of the best ways to protect the enamel of the teeth is by practicing good oral hygiene. This minimizes the exposure the teeth have to corrosive acids that can damage the enamel. Avoiding foods and beverages that damage the enamel is just as important. Sugary substances are particularly bad for teeth due to the acidity of sugar. There are lots of acidic fruits like oranges, lemons and strawberries that can also damage the teeth enamel.

When traces of these foods and beverages stick to the teeth, the bacteria in the mouth convert them into lactic acid, which can cause serious damage to teeth enamel. Avoiding these foods as much as possible to keep the enamel healthy. If someone must have some of these treats, then he or she needs to rinse the mouth with water or milk afterward.

Sugary and acidic foods and beverages are not the only things to avoid eating. Biting on hard things can be even more damaging to the teeth. Try not to chew on ice cubes, hard candy or fingernails to keep the enamel healthy. If it is essential to have some hard candy, suck on it until it dissolves instead of trying to chew it. Habits like grinding teeth can also wreck the enamel. Wearing a mouthguard from a dentist can help to prevent teeth grinding, known as bruxism.

Take proper care of your teeth

Taking proper care of your teeth will help to re-mineralize and strengthen the enamel. Brush twice a day with a fluoride-infused toothpaste, floss daily, and follow up with a quality mouthwash.

Want to learn more about tooth enamel? Contact one of our dentists today.

Request an appointment in our McLean dentist office here: https://www.oaktreefamilydental.com.

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