3 Things That Are Wearing Down the Enamel on Your Teeth
By understanding what puts your enamel at risk and which foods and drinks contain harmful acid, you can better protect your teeth from developing serious problems.
Your teeth are protected by a strong outer layer called enamel. This substance keeps the inner part of your teeth safe from damage. However, certain things we consume and actions we complete without even thinking can wear away at the enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay.
Damage from Grinding
Clenching or grinding your teeth causes damage over time – as the friction of tooth against tooth wears through the enamel. This is called bruxism. Whether you do this consciously or while you are sleeping, it’s important to try and break this habit. Talk to a your Brooklyn dentist to find out if you grind your teeth and whether or not a mouth guard is necessary to help prevent further damage. Depending on the severity of the habit, muscle relaxants may also be prescribed.
Acidic Food & Drinks
Avoid heavy consumption of food or drinks containing phosphoric and citric acid. Acid-containing fruits include oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits. Lesser known acid-containing food items include pickles, cranberries and tomato products. While a range of foods contain acid, drinks are often the biggest culprits of enamel-eroding acid. You encounter acid in everyday drinks like sodas, energy drinks, coffee, juices and sports drinks. Even flavored water can contain harmful citric-acid.
Sugar & Bacteria
There’s no way to avoid the age-old advice that sugar can damage your teeth. The problem occurs when bacteria on your teeth combine with sugar to make acid, and this erodes enamel. Because many foods and drinks contain sugar, the best way to protect against this danger is to limit the amount of sugar you consume and commit to brushing teeth after meals. Even rinsing your mouth with water after a meal can help cut down on the amount of sugar left on teeth.
Make sure the enamel on your teeth is protected by scheduling regular cleanings with your Brooklyn dentist. Your dentist can evaluate your oral health and determine if using mouth guards or making dietary changes is necessary.