When strong and healthy, tooth enamel protects your teeth from decay, infection, and sensitivity. Yet over time, enamel can weaken and demineralize due to a myriad of factors, such as genetics, dietary choices, tobacco use, and poor oral hygiene. If left untreated, damaged enamel will eventually erode and never grow back. However, there’s good news: you can prevent further weakening by taking a few preventive steps. First, quit smoking and the use of tobacco products. Next, ask us about a custom-fitted nightguard if you grind or clench your teeth during sleep. Below, we’ve listed out a few other ways to strengthen your teeth.
Improve Your Diet
What to Consume
Drink plenty of water and adjust your diet to include more tooth-healthy foods. Eat more whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and dairy products. Cheese, nuts, carrots, and celery in particular are foods that promote the production of saliva, which remineralizes enamel. If you don’t have jaw pain, chew sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes after meals to also encourage saliva production.
What to Avoid
There are also some things that you should limit. Foods that are highly processed and contain added sugar facilitate the growth of bacteria. Bad oral bacteria produce harmful acids that eat away at your enamel. So try to cut back on the usual suspects — candy, caramel, cookies, chips, sports drinks, and soda — but also limit dried fruit, sugar-laden cereals, sugary gum, white bread, white pasta, and crackers. Acidic foods and beverages, like wine and citrus, can also weaken enamel, so consider limiting your consumption of those too.
Brush Your Teeth Properly
Poor oral hygiene allows bacterial plaque to accumulate, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing your teeth the right way will help prevent these dental issues. Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you brush to make sure your enamel and gums stay strong:
- Do not brush your teeth too forcefully. Many people damage their enamel for this reason.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles twice a day.
- Spend two minutes each time brushing your teeth.
- Brush every nook and cranny of your smile, including your tongue.
- Consider using an electric toothbrush that has a pressure sensor and two-minute timer.
Fluoride, a natural mineral, is a nutrient that remineralizes enamel by strengthening its crystalline mineral structure. Brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste (don’t swallow it though!) and drink fluoridated water as often as you can. Here at Leesburg Family Dental, we also offer fluoride treatments and can recommend a fluoride mouthrinse.
Consult with Our Expert Team!
If you’re having any enamel issues, don’t wait until the problem gets worse, more painful, and more costly to treat. Contact us at Leesburg Family Dental to set up an appointment with our expert team today.Contact Us