Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the critical job of preserving teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also safeguards tooth nerves from hot and cold food and beverages. That’s why enamel loss often causes tooth sensitivity. Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly amazing. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
The team at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry encourages our patients to protect their tooth enamel for a lifetime of oral health in Royal Oak. This may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes it is better not to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is helpful, however, because it washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid.
Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva protects your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left exposed. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the answer for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water periodically can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.
In addition, tooth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many Royal Oak residents who grinds their teeth at night, it’s critical to get a mouth guard for the sake of your oral health in Royal Oak. People who grind their teeth are at a high risk for enamel erosion and the tooth decay that can follow. Athletes should also protect their teeth on the playing field with a mouth guard. For more specifics, meet with Dr. Steven Gustafson at Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry about custom mouth guards.
If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already transpired. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – your teeth will thank you for it. Using teeth as tools can hurt enamel, as well. Take a moment to fetch scissors before tearing a package or ripping duct tape with your teeth. Do you really want to take a chance on chipping a tooth just to open a package of lunch meat?
If you have already experienced enamel erosion or other dental issues, Dr. Steven Gustafson can help you safeguard what is left of your oral health in Royal Oak. You can also let us know if you are experiencing a dental emergency. To schedule a comprehensive examination, contact Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry in Royal Oak at 248-541-8770!