You Are Your Tooth Enamel’s Worst Enemy


You may not realise it, but even a few things you do with best intentions can do real damage to your pearly whites. The way you consume foods and beverages, as well as your daily oral hygiene can harm your teeth and gums, with noticeable effect on the tooth’s enamel.

Enamel or the outer layer of hard tissue on your teeth helps prevent tooth decay whilst maintaining the tooth’s shape and structure. It also experiences a lot of action; some are good and bad for its health and appearance. Enamel erosion shows hollows in the teeth, with wearing away of the tooth surface and biting edges.

Bad Oral Habits

Harley Street Dental Clinic notes that if you brush immediately after eating or drinking, you are likely to cause tooth wear because the acids from your food weaken the enamel. The same goes for brushing vigorously. This wears down the enamel, leading to sensitive teeth and receding gums. It is best to give the teeth some time to re-enamelise, at least after an hour or so after eating, before brushing.

Wrong Food Choices

Acidic and sour fruits like lemon, grapes and lime contain high levels of citric acid that can erode the enamel of the teeth. Fermented foods like yogurt and pickles, and soft drinks are quite acidic, too. Eaten too often, these foods can hinder the mouth’s own effort to defend against acid and enamel erosion.

The Saliva’s Power

Your saliva works to protect the enamel of your teeth from the acid in your food and drinks. If you eat or drink too much acidic foods and beverages, acid can build up to levels beyond what your saliva can handle. If this acid attack happens too often, you mouth will not have a chance to repair itself and the enamel can be brushed away.

When the enamel erodes, the dentin or its underneath layer will become visible. This makes your teeth look yellow and causes heightened sensitivity to hot, cold, and foods with strong flavours. The good news is, you can easily avoid enamel wear. Apart from limiting consumption of acidic foods, regular check-ups can also prevent the problem from getting any worse.