Tooth Enamel: Importance and ways to protect it

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Ever wondered what is the toughest and hardest substance in your body? You may be surprised to know that it is your tooth enamel, the tissue that helps you bite and chew your food. Your teeth is made up of four substances, one of which is tooth enamel.

What is tooth enamel made up of?

Our tooth enamel is made up of 96 per cent. perfect protection for your teeth. Experts suggest that tooth enamel is one of the most complex materials in our body that is made up of oblong-shaped mineral crystals that are said to be a thousand times smaller than a hair strand1.

How does Tooth Enamel protect your teeth?

The inner portion of your tooth is made of dentin, which is soft, and the enamel of your tooth has to be really hard so as to protect the dentin. It is also supremely resistant to wear and tear, hence enabling us to chew for a lifetime without losing too much of our enamel.

The enamel of your teeth also helps insulate our teeth when we consume extremely hot or cold foods and drinks. Over time, as the enamel erodes, one may observe that you become more sensitive to hot or cold foods, drinks. This is because the foods are now able to penetrate through the holes in your enamel to the nerves inside. Tooth enamel is surely the toughest material in your body but it is still possible for it to crack or chip upon impact, which is why you must be careful2.

Signs of tooth enamel erosion

Tooth enamel erodes over time, and if you are not particular about your oral health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in general, chances are that your habits can cause tooth enamel erosion at a faster pace. When acids wear away that enamel of your teeth, you experience erosion. Different stages of erosion show different signs, and here are some of the most common ones:

  1. If you notice your teeth looker yellower than usual, it could a sign of enamel erosion as it has now become thinner

  2. The moment you experience sensitivity and react when you eat foods that are either too hot or cold, or eat sweets, causing pain in your teeth, it could be an early stage of enamel erosion.

  3. If you notice some cracks and chips on your teeth, or the edges of your teeth become irregular, and rough, it is a sign that your enamel is eroding.

  4. When you bite and chew, you notice some indentations appear on the surface of the teeth known as cupping.

The erosion of your tooth enamel also makes them more susceptible to cavities and further decay. With your enamel beginning to weaken, the cavity can enter the main body of your tooth and cause serious damage.

Ways to keep your enamel strong

The best way to tackle the issue and minimise the erosion of tooth enamel is by adopting a healthy lifestyle and maintaining good oral hygiene. The foods that you eat also play a vital role in oral health. Here are a few tips to preserve tooth enamel and prevent its erosion3.

  1. Ensure that you visit your dentist regularly to keep a check on your dental health and flag off any issues beforehand.

  2. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the biggest and best step. Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential. Try the Oral-B iO Series Electric toothbrush that comes with a dentist-inspired round brush head that provides a fresh and clean mouth as well as healthy gums. The electric toothbrush is enabled with 3D tracking and A.I. to monitor your brushing across the front, top and back surfaces of your teeth. This guidance means you get the most thorough and effective cleaning.

  3. Apart from brushing, be sure to floss your mouth and use a fluoride mouthwash to rinse your mouth on a daily basis.

  4. Reduce or eliminate foods that are acidic such as carbonated drinks, lemon, orange or other citric acid juices. If you do have them, make sure you consume them when you have a meal to reduce its effect. And always rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after.

  5. You could also try using a straw to drink such juices as it takes the liquid directly to the back of your mouth.

  6. Limit snacking throughout the day as it increases your chances of getting decays. Furthermore, your mouth remains acidic after eating foods rich in starch and sugar, hence exposing it to erosion.

  7. If you have a dry mouth or low saliva volume, make sure you drink lots of water throughout the day to flush out acids and food particles in your mouth.

Maintaining proper oral health and hygiene is essential to protect your tooth enamel. Also, being mindful about what you eat and the habits you develop can go a long way in preserving dental health.

FAQ

  1. What is tooth enamel made up of?

    Our tooth enamel is made up of tightly packed minerals which make up 96 per cent of tooth enamel. Being the strongest substance in your body, it provides the most perfect protection for your teeth.

  2. How do I know if my tooth enamel is gone?

    If you notice signs such as sensitivity, teeth turning shiny and yellow, or have cracks and chips on your teeth, these could be signs that your tooth enamel is eroding.

  3. What to do to prevent enamel eroding?

    The best way to tackle the issue and minimise the erosion of tooth enamel is by adopting a healthy lifestyle and maintaining good oral hygiene. The foods that you eat also play a vital role in oral health.