Preventing tooth erosion
How to Prevent Tooth Erosion
Where does your teeth derive the strength to tear, bite, and chew? The answer: tooth enamel.
Tooth enamel serves as protection for each of your teeth. It is a dense mineral which is considered to be the hardest substance that can be found in the human body — which is quite amazing, considering the fact that it is only a few millimeters thick.
But despite the amazing strength and durability of tooth enamel, it can be damaged. Unfortunately, when your tooth enamel is cracked or chipped, it cannot grow back because it is a mineral.
Apart from trauma and other accidents, the leading cause of damage to enamel is tooth erosion.
Erosion occurs due to different reasons, chief of which is constant exposure to acids. When your teeth are constantly exposed to acid, the enamel corrodes, making the teeth vulnerable to a host of dental problems.
Your mouth produces acids in different ways, and the most common is through eating. Among the other ways that your mouth produces acids are acid reflux, GI tract problems, dry mouth and low saliva flow, some types of medication, bruxism, and genetics.
The enamel can also become weakened by vigorous brushing which causes friction. If you brush too often or too hard, the enamel on your teeth can get worn away.
Enamel loss can lead to several problems, including discoloration of teeth, tooth sensitivity, fractures, and shiny spots.
How can you prevent tooth erosion?
The best way to prevent tooth erosion is to limit your mouth’s production of acids. How do you do that?
Minimize consumption of sugary fluids
As much as possible, limit your consumption of sugary drinks like fruit juices and soda. Instead, drink plenty of water.
If there is no other option but to drink these fluids, do not swirl these around your mouth to limit your teeth’s exposure to these. Better yet, use a straw when drinking any of these fluids.
Limit the number of times you eat snacks
Quite simply, the more you eat, the more acids are produced in your mouth. Cut back snacking to just one to two times a day.
Drink more milk
Milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium which help strengthen the teeth. Plus, these food products leave a sticky film on the teeth which can act as a barrier against acids.
Swap your coffee for tea
Consider swapping your favorite caffeinated beverage for green or black tea. Green and black tea contain a high level of antioxidants and can help prevent tooth erosion.
Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride boosts the strength of your teeth while protecting these against acids. Just remember to brush at least twice daily.
Know when to brush
Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating. This will just spread the acids around your mouth. Instead, rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after an hour.
See the dental experts
Finally, do remember to visit your dentist regularly.