Causes of Damage to the Enamel
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in our body. Still, it is not immune to damage. Certain habits we engage in can be harmful to it.
Acid wears away our enamel over time. Consuming acidic foods and drinks, such as oranges, soda and lemonade exposes the teeth to acid. Sugar also presents a problem since bacteria feeds on it, and then produces acid.
To minimize acid erosion, limit acidic or sugary foods and drinks. When you do consume them, rinse your mouth out afterwards with water. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help, since the chewing action produces saliva, which counters the acid and protects your teeth. In addition, be sure to brush your teeth twice daily. Rinsing daily with a fluoride mouthwash will also help strengthen your teeth.
Grinding or Clenching
Our teeth come together when we bite and chew foods. But they are not designed to withstand the extended force that is applied when we grind or clench our teeth. These behaviors, known as bruxism, wear away our enamel over time.
Bruxism can occur in the daytime or while we are sleeping. If you suffer from headaches or jaw pain, this may be a clue that you have the condition. A dental exam also often exposes the condition. If you have it at night, a mouthguard can be worn while you sleep to protect your teeth.
Chips or Fractures
Biting down on hard objects, such as ice, hard candies, or pencaps, can cause our teeth to chip or crack. Sports injuries can also cause these problems.
To minimize the risk of damage, avoid biting down on hard objects. And the next time you want to open a package, reach for the scissors instead of using your teeth. Additionally, if you play a sport, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
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