Tooth Enamel 101: Learn the Basics of This Important Part of Your Teeth
You know you have tooth enamel but how much do you really know about it? Many people know they should brush twice a day and floss once, they know they should see their dentist regularly, and they know they should take steps to prevent breaking down their enamel. But what exactly is this substance? Read on to find out what it is, why it is important, and how you can protect. Then contact California Dental Group at phone] if you are ready to visit a dentist.
What exactly is tooth enamel?
It is a layer that forms around the surface of your teeth. It is very hard and the purpose of it is to protect your teeth from damage. It protects your teeth from sugar, acid, and daily wear. It is the hardest substance in your entire body but it is not unbreakable. Made mostly from minerals, the main component is hydroxyapatite. The color of enamel varies from person to person and is generally between a light yellow and a gray white. The enamel itself is also partially translucent, which is why the teeth may appear white: Part of the color comes from the dentin that can be seen underneath.
Why is tooth enamel so important?
One of the main things we do when we recommend treatment at California Dental Group is work to protect your enamel. Every time you bite into something, every time you chew, there is the potential for damaging your teeth. In fact, the enamel is the only thing preventing your teeth from breaking apart. As it wears away, it results in the inner layers of your teeth being vulnerable and could eventually leave your nerves exposed.
How can enamel get worn down?
If enamel is so strong, how can it be worn down? The truth is that even though it is the hardest thing in your body, it can be damaged. Once it is damaged, you will have a higher chance of tooth decay and cavities. Some of the most common causes of enamel being worn down include:
- Drinking too much soda
- Taking certain medications
- Drinking fruit drinks
- Acid reflux disease
- Low salvia production
- A diet high in sugar and starches
- GI issues
Environmental factors and genetics can also play a part in how easily your enamel wears down.
How can I protect the enamel on my teeth?
Brush and floss daily. Use a straw when drinking sugary drinks so that there will be less contact with your teeth. Visit your dentist twice a year. Eat a piece of cheese, eat an apple, or drink a glass of water after eating a meal when you can’t brush.
If there are specific issues that you are worried about, then we can discuss them when you come in for your cleaning. We will review both the current status of your teeth and your dental history to find the best way to protect your enamel.