You can lift weights to strengthen your biceps, perform crunches to work out your abs, or go for a run to get your heart pumping, but do you know how to keep your teeth strong? You’ll need to focus your attention on the outer surface of your teeth, which is composed of a hard and glossy substance known as enamel. By building healthy habits, you can protect your teeth’s enamel and ensure that your teeth remain strong for years to come.
How to Keep Your Teeth Strong
First, it’s important to note that although enamel is the hardest material in the human body, it’s not living tissue. This means that if your enamel is cracked, chipped, or worn down, it can’t be repaired. It’s been lost forever. However, you can strengthen your enamel to avoid damaging it in the first place. Use the following tips to protect your teeth.
Avoid Foods and Drinks That Weaken Enamel
With Halloween right around the corner, this is an apt time to remember how harmful sweet foods like candy, cookies, and ice cream are to our teeth. Their sugars feed the bacteria that already exist in your mouth, creating harmful acids that can soften and damage tooth enamel. But sweet treats aren’t the only foods that you should beware of! All of the following foods and drinks can also break down or erode your enamel:
- White bread and other simple carbs
- Potato chips
- Fruit juice
Even foods that most of us would consider “healthy” can be damaging to your enamel if you consume them in excess and don’t brush and floss regularly. For example, citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruits contain high amounts of acid and sugar, which can erode enamel. Moderate your intake of these fruits and always consume them with water to help rinse away their acids.
Finally, don’t chew ice! This can cause micro-cracks in your enamel.
Drink Lots of Water
Water will rinse away any acids lingering in your mouth after eating. Also, if your mouth doesn’t naturally produce enough saliva, water can play the role of saliva, neutralizing the acidity in your mouth and minimizing your risk of enamel loss. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during and after meals.
Brush and Floss Properly
Keeping your teeth clean is vital because it prevents bacteria and acids from sitting on your teeth and damaging the enamel. Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss them once a day. Remember to use a soft-bristle brush and gentle movements to avoid wearing down your enamel. In addition, dentists recommend that you wait at least half an hour after eating enamel-eroding foods (sour candy, citrus fruit, soda, etc.) to brush your teeth. These foods can soften your enamel, and if you brush too soon, you may damage it.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Every six months, visit your dentist for a check-up. Your dental team can assess your dental health and let you know if you have anything to work on. They can also provide treatment for teeth grinding (also known as bruxism), which can also wear down your enamel.
Visit Your Doctor Regularly
Some issues that can impact the strength of your teeth are best treated by a physician. For example, severe heartburn (which can lead to damaging stomach acids) and bulimia can both cause enamel erosion. In addition, if you suffer from dry mouth (which is sometimes caused by other medical conditions or medications), your doctor can help you find a treatment. Dry mouth is dangerous because healthy saliva production helps mitigate the effects of acidic foods.
As you can see, the habits you can use to keep your teeth strong are the same habits you should already be using to maintain your oral health. You don’t need to spend your money on special gadgets or invest your time in unusual techniques. You simply need to brush, floss, eat a healthy diet, and visit your dentist and doctor regularly.
If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!