2016 Aug 15
By Shamila Naleer
Caring for our teeth is not always an easy task; the process may include brushing, flossing, selecting a suitable toothbrush and picking out the ideal toothpaste that caters to your dental problems. Among the many dental issues we face, we may also suffer from weakening tooth enamel.
What is Tooth Enamel?
The toughest and most highly mineralized substance in your body is the enamel on your teeth. It is the most visible and strongest part of the tooth and covers the external layer of each tooth.
How does Enamel Erosion Occur?
There are several causes that stand behind the weakening of enamel.
One such reason can be due to the formation of plaque. As discussed in the preceding article, plaque is a key reason for tooth decay. When the bacteria in plaque changes from food starch to acid, it begins to erode the healthy minerals in the enamel. As a result, the enamel wears down and forms miniscule pits that grow in size over time.
What we consume also plays a part in enamel erosion; the consumption of soft drinks gives way to the corrosion of enamel as it includes high levels of phosphoric and citric acids. Surprisingly, even fruit drinks can lead to this erosion as certain acids in these drinks are said to be more erosive than battery acid!
If your diet is high in sugar and starches, this may also lead to the corrosion of enamel.
Surprising fact; did you know that even swimming pools can play a part in enamel erosion! This can occur when pool chlorination in swimming pools is not maintained properly. In turn, this can lead to rapid and excessive erosion of dental enamel.
Strengthening and Protecting your Enamel
Dental care tends to be a bit of a hassle at times because, let’s face it, there are several components in the process and some us may just not have the time for it (or maybe we’re just a bit lethargic!). Yet, if you hope to keep your teeth healthy and prevent enamel loss, it is essential that you brush, floss and rinse with a fluoride and antiseptic mouthwash daily.
As plaque is also a cause of enamel erosion, it is important that you include the use of clove oil in your dental hygiene process. This can be done by using toothpastes that contain the particular ingredient.
Additionally, use a fluoride toothpaste as it strengthens teeth and helps protect your enamel from wearing away. It rebuilds weakened tooth enamel and reverses signs of premature decay.
Another way around the wear-and-tear of enamel is to avoid foods that are sugary and starchy as they contain high amounts of citric acid which may lead to extensive damage the enamel.
Nourish your teeth with vitamin D as it provides the adequate balance of calcium and phosphorus to support mineralization. As cloves are rich in several vitamins including vitamin A, E, K and D, using toothpastes that include clove oil when caring for your teeth can prove to be of great assistance.
For those of us who think that brushing our teeth harder may somehow make it cleaner; don’t. Brushing your teeth intensely can weaken and wear away your dental enamel. It would be advisable to use a soft-bristle brush and use gentle, tooth-length strokes to protect your enamel as much as possible.
Why Safeguard your Enamel?
Having strong enamel is a crucial part of dental hygiene, although many tend to overlook it and place higher importance on fresh breath and pearly whites. As aforementioned, enamel is one of the strongest parts in the human body and when it begins to deteriorate, it can lead to various oral health issues. It is vital to protect your enamel because, like the bones in your body, it cannot repair itself once damaged.
It is imperative for your enamel to be protected from wearing away as it plays a very important part in slowing down the tooth decay process. The strong barrier that it forms shields the inner layers of your teeth from the effects of acid and plaque. Moreover, it sensitive layers deeper within your teeth are protected from food and beverages that are either extremely hot or very cold. Should your enamel starting corroding, it will not be able to regenerate as it does not contain living cells.