Causes of Tooth Enamel LossYou can lose tooth enamel from different factors, such as exposure to acids from foods and drinks. Foods and beverages can cause plaque to build up on your teeth, especially when you don’t brush and floss regularly. This can make your enamel weaker over time, causing it to wear away. You can also lose enamel from trauma to your teeth, such as if you break or chip a tooth, or from underlying health issues that cause you to take aspirin or another medication that erodes enamel.
Restoring Tooth EnamelThere are procedures available to help make your teeth stronger, although enamel itself can’t be rebuilt or restored. These procedures, which provide your teeth with extra protection from further loss of enamel, include tooth bonding and tooth crowns. Bonding involves covering your teeth with composite resin that resembles the appearance of natural teeth. This helps fill in areas where enamel has eroded. Tooth crowns or caps go over damaged teeth to protect them from additional damage and enamel erosion.
Preventing Loss of EnamelSince you can’t replace tooth enamel that has been lost, it’s important to lower your risk of erosion. You can do this in the following ways:
- Avoid Soda. Soda is carbonated, and therefore acidic in nature. It’s also packed with sugar, which raises your risk of plaque buildup on your teeth. This leads to an increased risk of enamel loss. Keep in mind that even diet sodas and seltzers have acidic properties that wear away enamel. Instead of drinking these types of drinks, switch to sugar-free and non-acidic ones, such as water.
- Limit Citrus Fruits. Oranges and other citrus fruits are highly acidic, which can lead to significant enamel erosion if you eat a lot of them. Although these fruits are healthy for you, it’s important to limit the amount you eat. You can also reduce the potential damage they can do to your teeth by drinking water while eating them and brushing and flossing afterward.
- Chew Gum After You Eat. When you chew gum, your mouth produces more saliva. This helps remove acids from the surface of your teeth. Just make sure you chew sugar-free gum.
- Wait to Brush After Eating. If you’ve eaten acidic foods, wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Brushing them sooner than this can increase your risk of having your enamel wear away.
- Avoid Brushing Roughly. Brushing your teeth gently helps protect tooth enamel. Brushing them roughly can cause enamel to wear away.