Our Troy dentists have found that the better informed our patients are, regarding oral health, the more proactive they are able to be when it comes to maintaining your smile. That is why we have put together this short article all about one important part of your tooth: the dental enamel.
What is enamel?
Dental enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth. When you look in the mirror and see white teeth, that’s enamel that you’re seeing! The purpose of enamel is to protect the more sensitive layers of your teeth that are below the surface—these layers are the dentin and dental pulp.
How does enamel become damaged?
While enamel is quite strong, it is by no means indestructible. Sugars and acids weaken enamel for about twenty to thirty minutes after exposure. During this period of time, your enamel is softer than usual, and thus prone to damage. Additionally, patients who suffer from bruxism—chronic dental grinding—experience increased rates of dental trauma and infection because the tooth-on-tooth contact wears down enamel over time. And, of course, discrete dental trauma, like bike collisions and sporting accidents, can cause enamel damage in an instant.
What can I do to protect my teeth?
One of the easiest things that you can do to safeguard your smile is to drink plenty of water, and rinse your mouth with water throughout the day. This helps to minimize the effect of sugars and acids. Make sure that you seek prompt treatment for bruxism as a preventive measure—in an ideal world bruxism would be treated before it caused any damage. It is also very important that you wear any recommended protective oral appliances when participating in contact sports etc.
When you are able to maintain healthy enamel, you are essentially safeguarding your oral health for years to come. If you have any questions, or you’d like to schedule a personal consultation, please reach out to our Troy dentists. We are here to help!