What You Should Know about Your Tooth Enamel

What You Should Know about Your Tooth Enamel

Each of your teeth is covered by a hard, outer layer called enamel, which serves to protect the tooth from decay. Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body. It is even stronger than bone. Even so, it is not indestructible.

Plaque is a sticky substance made up of sugars and millions of bacteria that binds to your teeth after every meal. If not cleaned off soon, the bacteria consumes the sugars left on your teeth and converts them to acid. The plaque also eventually hardens and turns into tartar, which can then only be cleaned off with a professional dental cleaning. The acid gradually breaks down the enamel, and over time, tiny holes form in the enamel, which lead to cavities and tooth decay.

How to Protect Your Teeth

Luckily, there are things you can do to protect the enamel on your teeth and guard against tooth decay. First, it helps to minimize foods high in sugar or starch, since these substances feed the bacteria that create the harmful acids. Other than this step, here are some things to keep in mind.

• Brush your teeth twice a day, and preferably after each meal, especially if that meal contains sugar or starch.

• Floss your teeth every day to clean the areas where your toothbrush cannot reach.

• Use a fluoride-containing mouthwash each day. Fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild the enamel that has been weakened by acid. Also consider using an anti-bacterial rinse, which attacks the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

• Visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and dental exam.

To schedule your appointment, contact our office.