Though thin and partially translucent, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and has the critical job of protecting teeth from constant use and the continual assault of chemicals in food and drink. Enamel also protects tooth nerves from hot and cold foods. That’s why enamel loss often causes tooth sensitivity.
Cuts heal. Bruises fade. Broken bones mend. Overall, the body’s ability to heal itself is truly amazing, but tooth enamel is different. When it’s gone, it’s gone. The team at Weston Spencer DDS – Conservative Comprehensive Dentistry encourages our patients to guard their tooth enamel for a lifetime of oral health in La Jolla.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes it is better not to brush immediately after eating. Specifically, after eating acidic items. The acid weakens the enamel which can be further weakened by brushing. Waiting 60 minutes will allow the acid to dilute. Rinsing immediately after eating acidic foods is helpful because it washes away some food particles and speeds up the dilution of the acid. If you sip soda, tea, or coffee all day, we suggest you switch to water to halt any enamel erosion that has already transpired. It may be a hard change to make – but if you are successful – it will significantly improve your oral health in La Jolla.
Some people don’t realize that dry mouth can cause or exacerbate enamel erosion. The calcium and phosphate in saliva safeguard your enamel. When there is little saliva, the enamel is left vulnerable. Chewing stimulates saliva production but constant snacking is not the answer for dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sipping water frequently can stimulate saliva production between meals without increasing the risk of or upping your calorie intake.
Chewing ice and hard candy can also damage enamel. If you simply must have sugar, soft candy is best as long as it is not left to sit on teeth for a long period of time. If your molars are packed with gummy candy, it can cause cavities which erode enamel. Many of the old-school hard candies we enjoyed as kids now come in soft versions. Enjoy them sparingly because constant sugar is bad for teeth and oral health in La Jolla. If you have already experienced enamel erosion or other dental issues, Dr. Weston Spencer can help you guard what is left. To schedule an extensive examination, contact Weston Spencer DDS – Conservative Comprehensive Dentistry in La Jolla at 858-459-0077. We also offer services such as preventative dentistry, same day implants, and TMJ treatment.
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