At Pacific Dental Care we make it a point to practice preventative dentistry, which involves education and instilling good dental health habits that our patients can practice for their entire lives. However, we do realize that sometimes we run into folks who may not have had the guidance that we make sure to bestow upon our valued patients. We do have patients come to us who’ve experienced damage to their teeth, particularly to their enamel. This can result in sensitive teeth and a number of other oral health complications, so we’d like to take some time to advise our patients who suffer from worn down tooth enamel about ways that they can give some extra TLC to their teeth.
Do you get an intense pain when eating foods extreme in temperature? Ice cream and hot tea can be painful undertakings if you’ve experienced enamel erosion. Enamel, a tooth’s outer covering, is a translucent layer of thin (but extremely strong) coating that protects the tooth and dentin, acting as a protective shield. Enamel also works as fortification against temperature, chemicals, and bacteria. Enamel doesn’t contain living cells, so when you lose it, there is no way for your body to regenerate it. Since you may not be able to restore your teeth, there are some steps and precautions that you can take to give your teeth the extra attention they need and deserve.
Stay away from sodas and fruit juices
Get your fruit the old fashioned way. Or, make a smoothie if you have a food processor. It’s good to avoid sodas and fruit juices because they contain many different types of acids that can corrode your enamel. If your enamel is already worn, beverages like these can wreak havoc on your teeth. You wouldn’t think so, but fruit juices actually erode your teeth more than soda will.
If you must, drink fruit juices and sodas with a straw, which will limit tooth exposure. A straw will make sure that the soda and juices have less direct contact with your teeth, directing the liquid to the back of the mouth instead.
Chew sugarless gum
If you eat during the day, especially foods high in starch or sugar, your mouth will become intensely acidic. To offset this effect, chew sugarless gum, which will help even the playing field as your mouth produces more saliva. Minerals in your saliva actually will help strengthen enamel. Make sure that your sugar free gum has xylitol in it, which is an ingredient that has been shown to diminish destructive acids found in food, fruit juices, and sodas.
Chew thoroughly and make sure your saliva production is up to par
Chronic dry mouth (also known as Xerostomia) can cause problems for your mouth, affecting your tooth enamel particularly. Saliva, as mentioned before, actually contains calcium and phosphate, which both protect tooth enamel. When your saliva production is low, your tooth enamel is more susceptible to damage. Chewing thoroughly helps produce saliva. Chewing sugarless gum also helps to produce saliva between meals.
Make sure you schedule and keep your routine checkups with Pacific Dental Care
This is the most important step to take of all. It’s important that you work with a trained professional who can monitor and track progress with your teeth and oral health. We’re in this together, helping you build good habits and increase your knowledge about good oral health, which is being linked more and more to good overall health. Contact Pacific Dental Care to schedule your next visit. If there’s a problem, we’re here to take a look and lend our expertise. Even if there’s nothing wrong as far as you can tell, schedule your next routine checkup today.