7 TIPS on Protecting Your Dental Enamel
1. To prevent enamel loss and keep teeth healthy, be sure to brush and floss teeth daily. See your dentist every six months for regular checkups and thorough teeth cleaning to remove built-up bacteria.
2. Always brush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that deposits on the teeth to strengthen and protect them. Look for a toothpaste that has the American Dental Association’s “Seal of Approval,” which can indicate the toothpaste contains enough fluoride to be effective.
3. Use soft-bristles toothbrush and maintain good brushing technique. Using hard-bristles toothbrushes, excessive force and over-brushing can cause additional enamel wear, weaken tooth structure and cause gingival recession.
4. If you are at risk of enamel damage, you may need additional fluoride or teeth-strengthening treatments. For example, some dentists can prescribe a slightly stronger fluoride-containing toothpaste or recommend a fluoride-containing mouthwash to be regularly used to strengthen tooth enamel.
5. Be aware of factors that cause enamel wear and try to eliminate or decrease bad habits. Enamel bears the impact of daily wear and tear, taking damage from common things such as the foods you eat (especially acidic, sugary and starchy foods), acid reflux, tooth grinding, nail biting, medications and dry mouth.
6. Drink fluoridated water. Fluoride has been proven to strengthen the enamel and prevent cavities. It is especially effective when used early on in childhood.
7. Avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after consuming food and acidic drinks. While this may seem counter-intuitive, acidic foods and drink soften the tooth enamel and leave it prone to damage from brushing. Wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing to allow time for saliva to restore lost minerals and re-harden enamel.