Phone (513) 251-5500
September 10th, 2018

This Is How to Get Stronger Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist

hagen dental practice top cincinnati dentist preserve enamel

Strong teeth are often HEALTHY teeth! So how can you keep your teeth as strong as possible?

The answer lies in protecting your enamel.

There are many ways to break down the outer and hardest part of our teeth—that is, your enamel. But…also remember that the enamel is the most highly mineralized substance in your body.  It’s also the hardest material in your body!

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what weakens the enamel, and what you can do with this knowledge to make sure your teeth stay strong and healthy for a lifetime.

What Weakens Your Teeth

Let’s take a look at what can WEAKEN your teeth over time. After all, those would naturally be the things and habits we’d like to avoid so that we can keep our teeth as healthy as possible.

Here are some of the culprits that can lead to enamel erosion:

Attrition. Have you been told you grind your teeth? Or do you notice that you’ve developed jaw pain that’s been attributed to bruxism? We all have natural tooth-to-tooth friction, which can be a good thing, but too much can weaken your teeth. It can also “loosen” your teeth and/or stretch periodontal ligaments. Think of it this way: with all that friction, something has to give!

Abrasion. One of the reasons many people choose to use a soft-bristle toothbrush is because they tend to brush too hard. Over time, if you brush too hard, it can serve to break down your enamel.

Additionally, if you don’t floss right or if you bite down on hard objects, the kind of wear and tear you put on your teeth also falls under this category. Another bad habit that falls under the abrasion category: chewing tobacco. It’s probably not too surprising for you to hear that this breaks down enamel over time.

Abfraction. Yep, sounds like a pretty fancy word! This is used when we talk about stress fractures to the tooth. Clearly that’s working against STRENGTHENING your teeth!

Corrosion. When certain materials hit our teeth, it can cause corrosion, which is one of the most damaging things we can do to our enamel in many cases. There can be acids that hit our teeth because of intrinsic reasons—such as excessive vomiting or acid reflux—or it could be other factors—extrinsic ones—like what we eat (1, 2).

Taking Control of the Health of Your Teeth

It’s good to know how we think of tooth erosion, and the terms we use to describe the various causes. Here’s a few other areas that can might contribute to tooth erosion:

  • Drinking soft drinks that have a high amount of citric acid or phosphoric acid;
  • Lack of saliva;
  • Dry mouth;
  • If your diet is high in sugar;
  • If your diet is high in starch;
  • If you have ongoing acid reflux or acid reflux disease;
  • Certain medications (1, 2).

Some areas that might surprise you that you should be aware of:

  • Fruits…and even dried Yes, fruits are great nutrition-wise, but be careful with very acidic fruits;
  • Certain wines where the acid can wear away at your enamel;
  • Aim to brush your teeth 45 minutes after you juice;
  • Gummy, chewable vitamins. If they are sugar-based you can see why it can be a problem;

Enamel’s Role in Your Mouth

Enamel is so important in protecting your teeth from decay. Be sure you do everything you can to protect your enamel and to keep it from eroding. When you do this, you protect your teeth, and you keep a strong barrier in tact that helps the inner layers of your teeth avoid the effects of plaque.

Once the enamel is destroyed, your body can’t re-generate it, unlike things like our skin. In other words, once it’s destroyed, our body does not make more to replace it.

hagen dental blog 5 steps to preserve enamel

Concerned about what to do to keep your teeth as strong as possible? You can take these 5 steps to preserve your enamel. Of course you always want to talk to us about your specific situation.

Step 1: Watch your sugar intake. Recall that includes both beverages AND it includes food. Sugar does A LOT of damage to your enamel. By cutting back on sugar, you can really cut back on the cumulative damage that happens to your enamel over time.

If you don’t know where to start, consider a food journal so you can see all the areas where you are consuming sugar. For example, do you have a latte or coffee with sugar in the morning? You can see how you might not even realize how much sugar is in your current diet!

Step 2: Avoid hard and sticky candies and avoid chewing ice. These are ones you can avoid entirely or, if you can’t give up the hard candies, at least minimize how often you eat them!

Step 3: Maintain positive daily habits. Use toothpaste and floss every day. On top of that, see us regular professional cleanings where we’re able to remove plaque build-up that sits on your enamel. All of these things you can control and have a major impact on preserving your enamel.

Step 4: Whereas things like soft drinks, Gatorade, cookies, or breakfast cereals have acids that “eat away” at minerals in your enamel, there are things you can do to re-mineralize your teeth.

The mineral fluoride is one example, which is why drinking fluoride can really help to combat tooth decay.

Step 5: Let’s say you are flossing and brushing consistently—and with a soft brush—you don’t smoke or chew tobacco, you have a healthy diet that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, and that you are getting regular check-ups at Hagen Dental. Well done!

At this point, if you still have other factors (which can even be genetic) that mean you have trouble maintaining healthy teeth, let us know your concerns.

We have additional options for areas that are a concern (such as cracked or chipped areas) and we even have the ability to cover your enamel in certain areas that need to be re-strengthened. We can also provide you with toothpaste that is gentler on tooth enamel.

We can also provide you with optimized-fluoride toothpastes that will help to strengthen teeth if we determine you need additional support to combat the effects of acid erosion.

cincinnati dentist west side keep that enamel srong

Build a Strong Foundation for Your Teeth

You can take these steps to keep your enamel strong and healthy…and at the same time, you can keep your teeth looking and feeling great! Give us a call to learn about what steps you can take to prevent dental decay. You can also come in for smile makeovers, full-mouth rehabilitation, cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and much more at Hagen Dental Practice!

We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation or your next regular professional cleaning with Dr. Hagen by calling (513) 251-5500 or clicking the online scheduling button.

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-enamel-erosion-restoration#1
  2. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion

 

 

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