Is Your Healthy Diet Destroying Your Enamel?
Here at 92 Dental, we see many patients who do not realise the effect a relatively healthy diet has on the condition of their tooth enamel. Keeping tooth enamel in good condition is one of the cornerstones of good dental health. If you require a dentist near the Chiswick area of London, 92 Dental are here to help.
Read on to learn more about how to make small changes in your life to preserve your tooth enamel and how to avoid the foods that could be culprits that are destroying it.
What is tooth enamel, and why is it important?
The first thing to understand is the role tooth enamel has as a cog in the context of the wheel that is your mouth. Tooth enamel is a protective coating that blankets every tooth and protects teeth from damage.
While enamel is an exceptionally strong surface, it’s still prone to damage. Unfortunately, once tooth enamel sustains a certain degree of wear and decay, a multitude of problems can occur and cause harm to the underlying tooth. Since enamel doesn’t possess regenerative qualities, as dentists, it’s vital for us to help patients understand the role prevention plays in keeping it healthy.
What is enamel erosion, and what are the symptoms?
Enamel erosion is the gradual loss of tooth enamel due to an acid attack. Once it begins to wear away, symptoms of enamel erosion can include:
- Enamel is starting to appear translucent
- Edges of teeth becoming rounded
- Yellowing of the teeth due to enamel erosion, revealing the exposed dentine beneath
- Lingering tooth sensitivity, particularly after eating and drinking hot and cold food and drink
- Dental decay
Several different types of food and drink can cause erosion, and frustratingly, several of these form parts of a healthy diet:
- Acidic fruits such as lemons, limes, tangerines and oranges
- Fruits such as apples, cherries, peaches, strawberries and apricots
- Fruit juices and carbonated drinks
- High-acid and high sugar alcoholic drinks
- Jam and vinegar
- Capers and pickles
So, we’ve covered the foods to enjoy in moderation. Let’s look at foods that are both nutritious and a friend to your tooth enamel:
- Cheese and eggs
- Fruits such as bananas, mangos and melons
- Fish and lean meats
- Brown rice and whole grains
- Nuts and oatmeal
If you’re from Chiswick and you’re looking for a dentist close to your area to help you cultivate a tooth-healthy diet, 92 Dental can help.
Protecting your tooth enamel from erosion
Having a preventive mindset is critical when preventing enamel erosion, as once tooth enamel has been lost, it can’t be restored. You can adopt the following habits to prevent and stall the progression of enamel erosion:
- Acidic food and drink at mealtimes only: this helps to lower the frequency of acid attacks on your teeth. We recommend refraining from regular snacking on acidic or sugary foods, as your mouth has to work hard to neutralise throughout the day.
- Think when you drink: when you drink anything other than water, avoid keeping the drink in your mouth and swilling it around. Using a straw can help minimise the time the drink comes into contact with your mouth, lowering the chance of erosion. If you’re drinking high acid drinks, make sure you’re sipping on water afterwards.
- Say yes to cheese: did you know cheese is a fantastic food for your teeth? It stimulates saliva production in your mouth, washing away food particles and helping to neutralise the acids in your mouth.
- Use the right tools: use fluoride toothpaste to prevent the onset of decay, which will reduce the risk of enamel erosion. It’s also essential that the fluoride has time to work its magic on your teeth after brushing, so remember not to rinse your mouth with water after brushing. We also recommend using a small-headed brush with soft bristles, as these are gentle on your teeth and won’t cause gum recession, which can expose dentine that isn’t protected by tooth enamel.
- Never miss a trip to the hygienist: you should never miss your routine hygienist cleanings, as these will help to identify any enamel deterioration at an early stage so that you can act accordingly. Visits to the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup, which not only cause gum disease and pain but can feel ‘furry’ and dry in your mouth. As a dental practice near Chiswick, we can also carry out hygienist appointments for patients, in addition to dentist check-ups.
Read our blog on why purchasing an electric toothbrush could be the best thing you do this year for your teeth. You’ll learn all about comparisons to a manual brush and how their features can benefit and strengthen your oral health.
We wish all of our patients a healthy and happy 2022! If you are currently a patient at 92 Dental and you would like to book an appointment, please contact us at your convenience on 020 8748 1381.
If you’re a new patient who would like to register with us, (firstly, welcome!) and secondly, please contact our new patient telephone number, which you can find here. We look forward to your visit.