Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. It is made up of various minerals, including hydroxyapatite. Enamel comprises the outermost layer on the tooth and is responsible for protecting against tooth decay. When food is consumed, the sugars in that food mix with the bacteria on the tooth to produce acid, which erodes the tooth enamel.
Once enamel is damaged, the human body does not make more of it; enamel does not contain any living cells, which means it cannot regenerate. Therefore, it is important to protect teeth from decay and enamel erosion.
How to Protect Tooth Enamel
The best way to protect tooth enamel is by avoiding sugary and acidic food and drink. These foods are highly damaging to enamel because they stick to the teeth and mix with bacteria to produce enamel-damaging acid. If you do choose to consume foods high in sugar and acid, be sure to wait 30 minutes and brush thoroughly afterward. Brushing immediately after consuming these foods will ground the harmful substances into the teeth, so it is best to wait about 30 minutes for the mouth to naturally flush out some of the substances.
Another way to protect tooth enamel is to ensure you brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day and floss once a day. By establishing a solid oral health routine, you will be regularly removing harmful bacteria (i.e. plaque) and acid from the teeth and better protecting your enamel. Also be sure to visit your dentist twice a year for an oral exam and dental hygiene cleaning.
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