Fun Fact: The Enamel is the Strongest Bone in the Body
We all know that our bones are strong – they support our weight, protect our vital organs, and allow us to move. But did you know your enamel is the toughest bone in your body? Sure, it seems far-fetched, but it's true! So, what makes the enamel so strong? And what can you do to make it healthy, stronger, and sturdier?
Why is the Enamel So Strong?
The tooth enamel is made up of minerals, including calcium, phosphate, and fluoride, which give its strength and resilience. These minerals make up 96% of the tooth enamel, making it so strong that it can withstand the forces of biting and chewing – something other bones cannot do.
However, despite its strength, tooth enamel is not indestructible. It can be worn away by acidic foods and drinks, brushing too hard, and grinding or clenching the teeth. When enamel is weakened, it can become thinner and more transparent, making the yellow dentin beneath more visible. Unfortunately, this wear and tear can lead to cavities, which are painful and can cause permanent damage to the tooth.
In addition, as it often happens, the enamel can be chipped or cracked by a hard blow to the mouth, which, like any other type of damage, can lead to sensitivity and pain and increase the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Fortunately, there are steps that we can take to protect your enamel from damage. Here are 7 of them:
Limit Sugary Drinks and Snacks: Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay, so it's important to limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages. Instead of soda, try water or unsweetened tea. And instead of candy, opt for a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
Don't Smoke: Smoking is not only bad for your health, but it can also damage your teeth. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause the enamel to weaken, making it more susceptible to decay and staining. In addition, the act of smoking itself can lead to a build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. Over time, this can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. So, if you're trying to protect your teeth, it's important to quit smoking.
Brush Twice a Day: Brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the best ways to protect your enamel. Fluoride toothpaste can help remineralize your enamel and make it more resistant to damage. In addition, brushing helps to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth, which can further help to protect your enamel.
Floss Daily: When you floss, you remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. This helps to reduce the acids that can eat away at your enamel, keeping your teeth looking healthy and bright.
Use a Mouthwash: Mouthwashes can remove food debris and plaque from your teeth and neutralize acids that can damage your enamel. To get the most from using mouthwash, use one that contains fluoride, as it can help replenish lost minerals and strengthen your teeth. Also, follow the directions on the bottle and swish the mouthwash around your mouth for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out.
Wear a Mouthguard: If you play sports, wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards help cushion the teeth and deflect impacts, reducing the likelihood of serious injury. They can also help reduce tooth grinding, clenching, and overall damage to the enamel.
Visit the Dentist Regularly: Over time, your enamel can begin to wear down, causing your teeth to become more susceptible to decay. That's why it's so important to visit the dentist regularly. Through professional cleanings and exams, your dentist can remove the plaque and tartar that can damage your enamel. They can also identify any areas of concern and provide you with guidance on how to protect your teeth.
Now that you know a little more about the enamel and its role in protecting your teeth, we hope you will do everything in your power to keep it healthy.