Enamel Love

Each one of your teeth is covered by a hard, protective layer called the enamel.  The enamel is what protects the tooth from decay.  It acts as a shield.  Just like a metal shield, when acids come in contact with the enamel, they can erode it and make it soft.  If the shield experiences acid exposure repeatedly, then it deteriorates to a point where it is useless and unreparable.  If you tooth enamel erodes and is corroded, it can never, ever be restored naturally.

You might ask, “Why does this matter to me?”

When the tooth enamel is eroded away, your chance of getting cavities increases.

You might wonder, “If acid is the bad guy, then what foods are acidic?”

So many … too many to list … but, here are some of the most commonly consumed acidic foods:

  • Soft drinks, Cola, Lemon-Lime, Orange, Root beer, ALL OF THEM!
  • Sports drinks
  • Coffee
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Pasta
  • White flour
  • Salt
  • White bread.

Sadly, even repeated, throughout the day exposure to fruits and vegetables can slowly erode your teeth due to acid exposure.

“Can it possibly get worse?” you ask

Possibly the worst news?  Possibly the worst news is that even if you avoid all acidic foods, the bacteria that lives in your mouth feeds on sugars.  When the bacteria feed on sugars, they multiply.  When they multiply, the byproduct is acid.   So, no matter what, your teeth are exposed to acid.

Surely, you’re wondering, “What CAN I do?”

Great news!  You can indeed do something to minimize the acid attack on your tooth enamel.  You can eat acid-balancing foods, such as nuts.  They’re nutritious and will help you show Enamel Love.  Bonus, you’ll gain protein intake at the same time.  Note, the softer the nut, the higher the fat content.  Also, take a look at the graphic associated with this post.  Ginger, onion, pineapple, cheese, celery and apples.  These foods are great at promoting tooth health overall.

And now you’re thinking, “How do I show even more Enamel Love?”

Love your enamel…

  • Avoid eating continuously.
  • Rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating.
  • Floss your teeth during the day.
  • Chew sugar free gum throughout the day, especially after eating.
  • Brush right after you eat.
  • Only drink water during the night! (see next point)
  • Consider running a humidifier next to your bed at night if you live in a dry climate.  This will help you reduce the feeling of dry mouth overnight.
You’ve got this!  Simple, healthy choices are good for your overall health and directly affect your teeth.