Teeth are comprised of a few different layers, and every layer has a purpose. The outermost layer of the tooth—the dental enamel—is designed to protect the more vulnerable parts of the tooth, and to prevent your tooth from become infected and damaged.
Here’s the problem: enamel is not impervious to damage. Enamel is fairly non-porous, and it doesn’t contain nerves, but it can still be weakened and damaged over time.
One of the most commonly experienced threats to enamel health is acid erosion. Today, our Saint Louis dentists are giving you some tips on minimizing acid erosion, and protecting your smile for the long-term.
Lots of foods and drinks—like fruits juices, soft drinks, and citrus fruits—contain appreciable amounts of acid. So, when you consume acidic goodies, you may want to:
- Drink plenty of water, so that your body is able to produce enough enamel re-mineralizing saliva. Patients who suffer from chronic dry mouth are more likely than those who do not to develop oral infections as well as halitosis.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking, in order to minimize the amount of time that acid is allowed to sit on your enamel. Rinsing your mouth with water also prompts saliva production.
- Eat/drink acidic things in short time-limited sittings, so that acid is not coating your smile all day long.
- Refrain from brushing your teeth for at least 20 to 30 minutes after eating or drinking, as your enamel is temporarily softer after acid exposure.
Keeping up with your dentist-recommended schedule of professional dental cleanings can also help you minimize your risk of developing thin enamel. As always, our Saint Louis dentists are here to give you any more information that you need, and to help you develop an oral hygiene plan that honors your smile. Give us a call to speak to a member of our team, and to schedule a personal consultation!