EnamelEach one of your teeth is covered with a hard substance called tooth enamel. This surface protects the teeth from hot and cold temperature extremes, bacteria, acid, and other potentially damaging substances that may find their way into your mouth. The body does not create more enamel, so it is vital to take care of the teeth you have by protecting their enamel. Once it is gone, it is gone for good and the only solution to protect your teeth is veneers or caps.

One way to protect your dental enamel is by cleaning up your diet. Soft drinks and sugary foods are the best “food” for bacteria that live in your mouth. When these bacteria go crazy eating the sugars, they create high acid levels, and the acid erodes the enamel. Similarly, acidic foods, like sour candies, also add acid to your mouth to eat away at the enamel. If you do eat or drink these items, rinse with water afterwards. If you cannot brush after meals, chew a piece of sugar-free gum to reduce the acid on your teeth and increase saliva flow to add minerals back into the enamel and make it stronger.

You also need to be gentle with your teeth. Grinding your teeth or using vigorous brushing methods can damage the enamel. Dr. Grabiak recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush when you brush to minimize this wear and tear. He also recommends using a type of toothpaste that has fluoride in it to keep your teeth as strong as possible.