Protecting the First Line of Defense Against Tooth Decay
Maintaining your dental health as you age can be challenging. That’s why AMBA provides comprehensive coverage at a reasonable rate and important tips on keeping your teeth and gums strong. Exploring how to keep your mouth’s enamel healthy is one important element.
Enamel is the protective layer that shields the tooth’s inner layers – the dentin and pulp – from damage and bacteria. While your enamel is incredibly durable, it isn’t indestructible. While your dental care routine is important to fight off decay and demineralization, the things you eat and drink can also have a profound effect. With proper care, you can help protect your teeth from permanent damage and even reverse early-stage tooth decay and repair enamel that has begun to weaken.
How Does Enamel Become Damaged?
Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that adheres to the surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline. The acidic substances plaque produces as it feeds upon your dietary sugar can lead to enamel erosion and eventually cavities. The first sign of tooth decay is a white spot on the teeth, which means it has begun to demineralize. At this point, the weakening can be reversed or helped with remineralization. But once a hole, or cavity, begins to form, the enamel has been permanently damaged and it’s too late to naturally reverse the effects. Frequently, dentists can repair a damaged tooth with a simple filling. However, advanced decay cases will require root canal therapy.
How to Strengthen Teeth
Your teeth are constantly losing and gaining minerals that help them remain strong. Sufficient remineralization of the teeth is needed to prevent tooth decay. Because certain foods and oral health habits can either strengthen or weaken your teeth, focus on limiting demineralization and promoting remineralization.
Poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, dehydration, and a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase your risk of demineralization and tooth decay. Limit these factors by brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time and flossing regularly. Other important steps include quitting or limiting tobacco products and alcohol, drinking plenty of water, and reducing your sugar intake.
To keep your teeth free of plaque and tartar, brushing and flossing your teeth daily is essential. Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens teeth, so when you brush with fluoride toothpaste, you’re protecting your enamel and helping to repair early signs of tooth decay. You can also expose your teeth to fluoride by drinking fluoridated tap water or getting a fluoride treatment at the dentist. Drinking enough water and promoting the production of saliva are also ways to remineralize teeth. They act as natural rinses to cleanse teeth of food particles and bacteria. Additionally, eat a balanced diet packed with tooth-strengthening nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.
How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy
If your enamel suffers from irreversible erosion, you can take measures to prevent further damage. For example, your dentist can put a filling over the damaged surface to help protect against continued wear. Regular check-ups with your dentist can also help you monitor the site of the tooth wear and keep track if it worsens. This can help prevent the extra pain in your mouth and wallet. A Dental Plan from your association and AMBA is a great way to keep the cost of dental care under control. AMBA’s Dental Plans can save you on routine cleanings and fillings, crowns, and more. Plus, acceptance is GUARANTEED and there is NO WAITING PERIOD on covered services! Sign up now at www.AMBAdentalvision.com or call 866-979-0497.