There is not a person in the world that doesn’t want strong teeth. As a matter of fact, many people are looking for ways to strengthen their teeth right now! But why is increased tooth strength so highly desired by so many people?
Well, the main reason is that strong teeth are also long-lasting teeth and the longer your teeth last, the longer your smile will look great. As social animals, we humans need our self-esteem and confidence to be high to in order to feel good and operate to our highest potential.
This is why our physical looks and, therefore, our smiles (and teeth) are so important to maintain. But what exactly makes your teeth strong and what can you do to help your teeth last for as long as possible? Let’s take a closer look at these questions and show you how to strengthen teeth in the most effective ways possible.
So what exactly determines the strength of your teeth? The answer to that question would be the durability and integrity of the outermost layer of your teeth, otherwise known as your tooth enamel.
Your tooth enamel is an extremely dense and hard outer layer that surrounds the crown and internal tissues of your teeth. It is made up of a variety of extremely hard and durable minerals. These tough minerals and the way they are structured and layered makes tooth enamel much harder than even bone. As a matter of fact, tooth enamel is actually the hardest substance found in your body!
That durability is exactly what makes your enamel so optimal of a substance to protect the rest of your relatively “weak” tooth. As a matter of fact, your enamel is so tough that it offers this amazing lifetime protection while only being a few millimeters thick at it’s thickest points!
However, while your enamel is extremely durable, the fact that it is composed of only minerals means that it won’t really grow back if it is damaged or lost.
While there is a naturally occurring process in your mouth known as “remineralization” that helps re-deposit minerals lost due to bacteria and acid back onto your teeth, it isn’t always quite enough to rebuild heavier or recurring structural damage done to the tooth enamel.
This is why chipped, cracked or broken teeth don’t heal by themselves without help from a dental professional.
So what exactly causes tooth enamel to be lost? Tooth enamel is lost in another naturally occurring process known as “demineralization”. Demineralization is, in essence, a type of dental erosion. Demineralization occurs due to acids that get built up in the mouth.
These acids are usually created by bacteria and plaque that develop in the mouth and they slowly degrade the strength and durability of the tooth enamel. While the remineralization process occurs to balance this opposing force out, if the acids that cause the demineralization process to happen are consistently in the mouth, they can cause extensive damage to your tooth enamel over the years.
There are several factors that can cause your mouth to produce more enamel-destroying acids. The most common uncontrollable factors include:
- Consistent dry mouth
- Genetic factors
- Regular acid reflux issues
- Excessive stress or other mental issues
- Regular, unconscious grinding of the teeth (also known as bruxism)
- Gastrointestinal tract conditions
- A consistently low flow of saliva
- Being born with weak enamel due to the mother’s nutritional regimen during pregnancy or other factors
- Being a sufferer of Celiac’s disease, which one of the primary medical conditions that cause intolerance of gluten
There are also a variety of environmental or behavior-based conditions that can also cause your tooth enamel to steadily erode. Luckily, these risk factors are quite controllable in comparison to the list of enamel-destroying conditions above. This means that you can prevent at least some of your tooth enamel from degrading by following some of the dental care tips found below:
Brushing your teeth with too much force or for too long/often
While it is always a good idea to keep the act of brushing your teeth as a consistent part of your daily oral care routine, sometimes people can take it a little too far. Even though brushing your teeth is necessary to maintain optimal oral health, you can wear away and damage your tooth enamel by brushing your teeth for too long or with too much pressure.
Avoid taking acidic medications
You might be regularly taking medications that are acidic and causing your teeth to degrade. You should avoid taking these medications as much as possible. Medications that are acidic but also commonly found and used include allergy-fighting antihistamines and aspirin.
Avoid sugary and/or carbohydrate-rich drinks and foods
This tip might be the most important and potent piece of information that you can follow in order to make your tooth enamel last as long as possible. This is because the excess sugar that is located in overly sweet drinks and foods are perfect food sources for the bacterial species that create the damaging oral acids that erode enamel. And it’s not just sugary foods or drinks! Carbohydrate-rich foods and citrus fruits can also cause similar damage to your tooth enamel.
If you want the enamel on your teeth to last even longer, you can also incorporate these following tips to do so.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating to wash out and minimize the oral acid
- Stop swishing any sugary drinks you might still be drinking in your mouth to minimize the amount of enamel surface area the drink comes in contact with
- Chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production and to keep your mouth from getting dry
- Up your dairy intake to counteract the oral acid
- Maintain a great oral care and cleaning regimen
Hopefully, these tips should help you understand how to strengthen your teeth as much as you can from home. If you think you need further information on how to restore your tooth enamel or think you may need the help of one of the best dental practices in the greater Miami, FL area, please contact us anytime at Gables Sedation and Family Dentistry!