What is a tooth enamel actually? It is a thin material that is covering the main body of our teeth. Although it is very thing (up to 2 millimeters at top and much less at sides), it is the hardest tissue of a human body that has only one purpose – to protect our dentin (main body of our teeth). Although it sounds like it’s unbreakable, it can crack, chip or simply wear away through ages.
It isn’t made out of living cells and it can’t heal itself if it breaks. Visiting a dentist is a must for proper treatment in that case. Human body can only restore minor enamel damages caused by mechanical wear or acid erosion.
Tooth sensitiveness is a first sign of a thinning enamel. The more sensitive your teeth are to cold, hot or sweet foods and drinks, the more your enamel is gone. Other sign is a discoloration of your teeth. They become yellow and transparent.
What causes enamel thinning?
Certain level of mechanical wear comes through ages and can’t really be avoided 100%. All we can do is to avoid eating hard foods and brush our teeth gently like we are supposed to. Electric toothbrushes with pressure sensors are a great for preventing aggressive brushing.
Most common reason is tooth erosion and here are some of the main causes for it:
- Soft drinks which contain citric acid and phosphorus
- Excessive consumption of fruits, especially fruit drinks which contain high levels of erosive acids
- Dry mouth
When enamel is totally gone, visiting a dentist for a proper treatment is a must. But enamel restoration can cost a lot of money, so it is much better to prevent than treat.
How to prevent erosion and enamel damages?
Take care for a good dental hygiene – It is self explanatory why you should brush your teeth twice per day. But most people don’t follow few important steps that are as important as using the right toothpaste:
- Wait for at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth after you had a meal or acidic drink. Enamel is temporarily softened at that time and vulnerable to mechanical erosion.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and don’t brush too aggressive. This is the main cause for mechanical erosion and many gum and enamel damages.
Adjust your diet – Consuming healthy food and drinks is essential for every aspect of our health. It is highly recommended to avoid acidic drinks, such as fruit drinks and soft drinks.