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The Science of Tooth Enamel: Protecting Your Smile

closeup of a woman's big smile showing off her tooth enamel

Protect your enamel! Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

It’s a warning you’ve probably been hearing for as long as you’ve been brushing your teeth, but what exactly is enamel, and why on earth is it so important to protect?

What Is Enamel?

Enamel is the hard, outermost part of your tooth. It protects your sensitive dentin and tooth pulp from damage, tooth decay, erosion, infection, and sensitivity.

While extremely tough and durable, enamel isn’t impervious to damage and degradation. Over time, your enamel is worn away by everyday use of your teeth, bacteria, and acids.

What Is Tooth Enamel Made Of?

About 95 percent of your tooth’s enamel is made up of calcium and phosphorus bonded together to form small crystals that are extremely strong. The rest of it is around four percent water and one percent proteins.

What Does Enamel Look Like?

The enamel itself is semi-translucent, but the layer of dentin underneath it can range in color. The two together are what make up your teeth’s unique shade.

How to Protect Enamel

You can protect your enamel by limiting your stress and getting help from your dentist if you experience teeth grinding. You should also limit foods high in sugar and sticky starches. Acid foods and drinks also aid in enamel erosion.

Some medical problems and medications can also cause enamel erosion. If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, dry mouth, or certain eating disorders, seek help from a medical professional for ways to protect your enamel.

Your genetics also play a role in the strength of your enamel, so regular check-ins with your dentist can help you stay on top of your overall oral health.

Customized, Comprehensive Dentistry in Southbridge, Massachusetts!

If you’re worried about the state of your enamel, Southbridge Dental Care can help. Schedule your appointment today to speak with one of our experienced dentists about how you can best protect your smile!

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