Our Tooth enamel is a remarkable substance. This outer layer of our teeth is hard, translucent and has the very important job of protecting our “dentin” or the soft inner tooth. When the tooth enamel is eroded, an important layer of our tooth protection is lost which generally cannot be replaced. It is important that we try and keep our tooth enamel strong for our entire life. While tooth enamel is naturally strong: it is not indestructible. Tooth enamel can be damaged in a number of ways and it is important for teens to be mindful of the foods or lifestyle habits which can damage their tooth enamel and cause further dental problems; like sensitive teeth down the road. Below are some helpful tips for teens to follow to protect their tooth enamel and enjoy a lifetime of dental health.
Be aware of the effect of acidic drinks on your teeth.
Sodas, fruit juice and sports drinks are acidic which means they have the capability of softening your tooth enamel, making it more susceptible to erosion while brushing. Your natural saliva can neutralize some acidity but many young people over consume acidic drinks, more than can be neutralized by natural saliva. Avoid direct contact of acidic drinks with your teeth by using a straw and avoid brushing your teeth immediately after drinking acidic drinks.
Finish your meal with milk or cheese
Finishing your meal with a food that has a higher PH level can neutralize acids in your mouth. Milk and cheese are two such foods which neutralize acids and promote good bone health. Get re-acquainted with milk to protect your teeth and your bone health. Remember that good bone density is particularly important to females and bad habits formed in your teens could make you prone to broken bones in the later years.
Keep stomach acids away from your teeth.
Acids inside our stomach are meant to break down our food during the digestive process. When these stomach acids come in contact with our teeth, they act in the same way which is very damaging to our tooth enamel and will cause permanent tooth damage. Medical conditions like bulimia, acid reflux disease or binge drinking causes damage to the teeth because of the vomiting associated with the disease and the introduction of acid into the mouth. Seek immediate medical help for any condition that introduces stomach acids into the mouth before permanent damage to your teeth and the rest of your body occurs.
Be mindful of teeth grinding
Bruxism or teeth grinding generally occurs at night and will wear down your teeth by friction, destroying enamel over a period of time. What causes bruxism? Generally stress or psychological reasons which makes us clench our jaws at night. Regular dental office visits will detect Bruxism early on and your dentist may provide you a night guard to protect your teeth at night. Of course, recognizing the underlying causes of stress is important as well. Call and make an appointment with Dr. Comrie at (407) 275-8800 if you suspect that you are grinding your teeth at night and see if a night guard can help you protect your enamel.
Teens, take care of your teeth and they will take care of you for a lifetime. Protect your tooth enamel by limiting your teeth’s exposure to acidic drinks. See Dr. Comrie for a regular check-ups and cleanings to dazzle the world with your beautiful smile and healthy tooth enamel.