When it comes to maintaining your smile, knowledge is power! The more you know about how your smile is structured, and how dental problems develop, the better able you are to protect your teeth from damage as time goes on. In today’s short article our O’Fallon dentists are giving you some more information about one aspect of maintaining dental health—protecting dental enamel.
Your dental enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth—this is the white, hard dental material that you see when you look in the mirror. What some people don’t know is that dental enamel is just one of many tooth layers, and it is designed to protect more vulnerable layers like dentin and dental pulp.
A few things make dental enamel more sturdy and resilient than dentin and dental pulp. First of all, dental enamel is less porous than the inner tooth layers, and thus it is more difficult for bacteria and dental debris to infiltrate it. Additionally, dental enamel does not contain any nerves; this is what allows you to drink and chew comfortably!
You want to keep your dental enamel as healthy as possible, because once it is compromised, your tooth will be more susceptible to developing cracks/chips as well as cavities.
To protect your enamel, you want to make sure that you…
- Follow all of your dentist’s instructions when it comes to caring for your smile at home, and keep up with your schedule of professional cleanings
- Minimize the number of acidic substances you consume, and get into a habit of rinsing your smile with water after eating or drinking something acidic
- Seek prompt treatment for bruxism (chronic dental grinding), as this thins and weakens enamel
- Make sure to wear protective mouth gear whenever you take part in extreme or contact sports
If you have any questions about caring for your dental enamel, our O’Fallon dentists are here to give you all of the information and guidance that you need. So, give us a call to get started!