How to Strengthen and Protect Tooth Enamel

tooth enamelWhen tooth enamel becomes weak your teeth become susceptible to problems like cavities, chipping, and sensitivity. While you can not regenerate tooth enamel there are things you can do to stop the weakening of your enamel and help to strengthen and remineralize it to avoid additional damage.

Dietary Choices
The main culprit behind enamel damage is acid. Drinking and eating acidic foods weakens tooth enamel over time by stripping away its mineral content. Acidic foods and beverages are a daily part of many people’s diets. Drinks such as coffee and soda along with foods like oranges and lemons can harm tooth enamel, especially if these items are consumed too often. Moreover, many processed and packaged foods contain acidic flavoring agents and preservatives that harm teeth as well. We recommend that patients read the labels on drinks and food and avoid highly acidic ingredients as often as possible. If foods or beverages like citrus fruits and soda are consumed, we recommend drinking water throughout the day to dilute their acid content and rinse away particles that harm teeth.

Preventive Treatments
Fluoride varnish is an optional treatment that hardens the teeth and makes them more resistant to decay. You should receive fluoride treatments if you have experienced any of the following:
• Frequent tooth decay
• Gum recession with exposed tooth root (roots are more vulnerable to decay)
• Sensitive teeth
• Dry Mouth (a lack of normal saliva that makes teeth more susceptible to decay)
• Infrequent brushing and flossing
• Frequent consumption of soda and other acidic drinks
• Crowns or multiple fillings (the edges of crowns and fillings are more vulnerable to decay)
• Active orthodontic treatment (brackets trap more plaque)
• Developmental defects in teeth
• Chemotherapy or radiation treatments
• Treatments for gum disease or gingival surgery

Next time you are in for your regular professional cleaning and exam, ask your hygienist about fluoride. Your teeth will thank you later.

If you would like to learn more, book a consultation today. Contact us at 203-612-5529.

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