Tooth Enamel

Strongsville Dentist: What is Tooth Enamel?

Strongsville Dentist, Dr. William Aerni, explains tooth enamel.

Most people have heard of it, but what is tooth enamel?  Enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth that gives teeth their white color.  It is said to be the hardest part of the body and is made up mostly of minerals.  About 95% of enamel is calcium and phosphate ions that make up strong hydroxyapatite crystals.  The remainder is water and enamelins, what are proteins specific to tooth enamel.   The strength of enamel protects the teeth from decay.  Over time enamel wears down from teeth grinding, sugary and acidic foods and drinks, and a lack of dental hygiene.  When enamel becomes soft and worn down teeth are susceptible to cavities, chipping, and cracking.

There are ways to keep tooth enamel strong:

  1. Use fluoride toothpaste and fluoride rises that help rebuild enamel.
  2. Avoid over-brushing and hard bristled toothbrushes which adds additional wear to enamel.
  3. Visit the Dentist regularly to catch problems before they become worse.
  4. Avoid grinding teeth and wear a mouth guard if grinding persists.
  5. Limit foods and drinks that are acidic and high in sugar. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar which wears down enamel and acid breaks down enamel.
  6. Consume foods and drinks that are high in calcium.  Calcium helps protect and strengthen enamel.

To make an appointment with Dr. Aerni, call (440)238-6141 or visit our site AerniDental.com.

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