Enamel protects our teeth with a hard mineral layer, but it can still be damaged by acidic foods, plaque, and injuries.
For your comfort, health, and a confident smile it’s best to look into repairs and restorations if your enamel has been damaged. Your body cannot regenerate enamel on its own, but My Family Dentistry can help protect and restore your dental health.
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Enamel covers the outside of your teeth. It consists of hard minerals, rather than living cells. When your teeth are still inside the gums, your body forms the enamel layer to protect the inner layers of dental tissue.
It’s also important to note that tooth enamel is almost entirely clear and translucent. Your tooth color actually depends on your dentin, the layer below the enamel.
Why Is Tooth Enamel Important?
As your teeth’s first line of defense, enamel protects against damage from chewing and teeth grinding as well as acids and bacteria from food and beverages. Enamel also helps keep you comfortable in extreme temperatures, so the inner nerves do not feel as exposed to very cold temperatures.
Causes of Enamel Erosion and Damage
Despite being even harder than bone — enamel is actually the hardest substance found anywhere in your body — enamel does get damaged fairly easily. Over time and due to accidents, your enamel can wear away or get chipped.
Acidic foods and drinks cause the most damage to enamel. Citrus, coffee, wine, tomatoes, vinegar and other acidic substances erode the minerals over time.
Plaque can also destroy your enamel. When you don’t brush and floss for more than 24 hours, bacteria hardens into acidic plaque and begins eroding the enamel.
Enamel often gets cracked while grinding your teeth, crunching ice cubes, or opening things with your mouth. From freak accidents to daily bad habits, just about anything might cause damage to your tooth enamel.
Can Enamel Be Repaired or Restored?
Your body constantly regenerates new cells to replace old ones, but enamel isn’t made of living cells. That’s right — you’re stuck with the enamel you have for the rest of your life.
However, there are some ways to restore enamel. First, it’s important to halt the damage. Limit your intake of acidic and sugary foods, step up your teeth brushing and flossing, and drink water during and after meals. Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes can also help make cracking and chipping less likely.
To protect your teeth and provide better cosmetics, you can also choose dental veneers and other resurfacing treatments. At My Family Dentistry, we work with advanced porcelain veneers that look and feel natural and protect your oral health.
We can also recommend prescription toothpaste that can add minerals to the surface of your teeth and protect your enamel better than over-the-counter products.
Have you noticed tooth pain, sensitivity, discolorations, or other signs of damaged enamel? Visit us at My Family Dentistry for cleaning, advice, and restoration treatment options to regain your comfort and smile.