Your enamel can be damaged by a variety of things, some of which you may have never even considered. Foods and drinks that are acidic, such as orange juice, soda, and even wine can weaken the enamel. This effect is further exasperated by the fact that many people don’t realize they should wait before brushing their teeth if they’ve consumed these items. The weakened enamel can be damaged by brushing too soon after consumption, but can also be damaged by prolonged exposure to the acidic substances. So, the answer can be as simple as rinsing with water to eliminate the acid then brushing your teeth with ADA recommended toothpaste and water.
Other routines, like whitening your teeth, can also weaken your enamel and leave it vulnerable to damage. While over the counter whitening products are generally safe to use, it’s vital that you follow the directions on the packaging. These products are not meant to be used frequently, and to do so can cause serious damage to your enamel. Over use will reduce the protective effect of the enamel pellicle, a protective dental coating made of salivary products.
How Can You Protect Your Teeth?
Because your enamel cannot be repaired, it’s important to take steps to protect it. Simple steps, like rinsing your mouth with water after consuming acidic food or drink, can help you to avoid damage. You can also avoid things that reduce your saliva production, such as the use of tobacco products, since saliva can shield your enamel from some of the effects of acidic food and drink.
By choosing products that contain fluoride for brushing and flossing, you can help to repair small lesions in your enamel through remineralization. This will strengthen and repair the enamel that you have, but will not create new enamel if it has been lost. You should also make sure that you’re brushing gently and aren’t doing it right before or right after consuming acidic substances. Some toothpastes that whiten your teeth may be too abrasive to use daily and can result in enamel wear.
If you take steps to protect your enamel, you can likely avoid dental and periodontal issues in the future. Especially since the steps to protect your tooth enamel from damage are similar to the steps you should take to avoid gum disease. If you feel that the damage has already been done, contact Dr. Raymond Kenzik’s Periodontal office in Ormond Beach, FL to discuss your options.