Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the critical job of protecting teeth from constant use and the continual assault from food and drink. The Reno Dentist in Reno NV reminds you that enamel also guards nerves from hot and cold food and beverages. That’s why enamel loss often causes sensitivity.
Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. The body’s ability to heal itself is truly wondrous. But tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes it is better NOT to brush. Immediately after eating is one such time. 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 useful, 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 safeguards your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left exposed. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the solution for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water regularly can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.
Moreover, teeth grinding wears enamel away. If you are one of the many Reno residents who grind their teeth at night, it’s critical to get a mouthguard promptly. People who grind their teeth are at a high risk for enamel erosion and the cavities that can follow.
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 damage 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 lunchmeat?
Chewing ice and hard candy can also impair enamel. If you simply must have sugar, soft candy is best as long as it is not left to sit on teeth for long period of time. If your molars are packed with gummy candy, it can lead to cavities which erode enamel just as effectively as chipping it with hard candy.
If you have enamel erosion or other dental problems, The Reno Dentist can help. Cosmetic dentistry can correct a host of problems. We also provide orthodontics such as Invisalign clear braces. To schedule a comprehensive examination, call our Reno NV office.
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