Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body but can be eroded by the bacteria present in our mouths. Maintaining regular, thorough dental hygiene is essential for keeping that bacteria from creating cavities and thinning enamel. Worn and missing enamel leaves teeth much more vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities. If your enamel is wearing down, a few warning signs include painful tooth sensitivity, discolored teeth, and cracked or chipped teeth. If you are concerned about the state of your enamel, ask your dentist at your next appointment whether you should be concerned about your enamel. In the meantime, you can protect and strengthen your tooth enamel by regularly practicing the following three simple habits.
Drink Fluoridated Water
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and always present in water to some degree. However, many cities add additional fluoride to the water supply, as years of research have proven that drinking fluoridated water can reduce your risk of cavities by 20 to 40 percent.
Fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel in a few ways. First, when you drink fluoride, some of it is incorporated into the surface of your teeth, helping fortify them against decay. Second, after you ingest fluoride, it is present in your saliva, which is always in contact with your tooth enamel. This gives the fluoride a second chance to absorb into your enamel and protect it from decay.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva. Your saliva not only washes away debris from your teeth and neutralizes cavity-causing acids, but the mineral content of the saliva can remineralize and strengthen tooth enamel. Make sure that you’re choosing sugar-free gum so you aren’t spreading more sugar on your teeth.
Some gum companies are even adding a compound called Recaldent to their gum. Recaldent may help to both stop demineralization and help remineralize tooth enamel.
Use Enamel-Hardening Toothpaste
When selecting a toothpaste, choose a fluoride toothpaste. This will again help ensure that you are protecting and hardening your enamel while cleaning your teeth of bacteria and debris. And as always, getting in the habit of brushing at least twice a day will help keep your tooth enamel strong and your teeth cavity-free.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
While these tips can help with some tooth and gum sensitivity issues, we know the best way of correcting the problem is to visit your dentist regularly. Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.