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Your Kelowna Dental Centre Explains How Tooth Enamel Works


Tooth enamel is an essential component of a healthy smile. This tough, durable shell is like a front line of defence for the rest of a tooth (also known as dentin). Yet, even though it is the hardest tissue in the human body, it requires diligent care to prevent unwanted visits to your Kelowna dental centre.

That’s because enamel is susceptible to damage and erosion caused by an array of physical factors such as:

  • Diet
  • Abrasion or trauma
  • Corrosion
  • Dry mouth
  • Medications
  • Genetics

What Does Enamel Do?

The main role of enamel is to serve as a protective coating that safeguards your teeth from the daily wear and tear of:

  • Chewing
  • Biting
  • Grinding

It also acts as a buffer by insulating your teeth (and sensitive nerve endings) from extremely hot and cold temperatures, for instance, an overly hot cup of coffee or a bowl of ice cream.

What Happens When Enamel Erodes or Is Damaged?

Unlike bones, your teeth cannot be repaired by the biological processes of the body. If enamel chips, cracks or erodes, you will need to visit your Kelowna dental centre to address the issue.

How Can I Tell if My Enamel is Eroding or Damaged?

Depending on the stage, there might be a number of indicators that your enamel is compromised. Some of them include:

Sensitivity: You may notice a stab of pain in the affected tooth (or teeth) when ingesting foods that are sweet, as well as ones that are excessively cold or hot. This sensation may worsen as the condition progresses.
Discoloration: As the coating of your enamel erodes, it can expose the dentin to bacteria and particles, which can lead to discolouration.
Cracks and Cupping: Cracks may appear around the edges of your teeth, while cupping refers to small dents that appear on the chewing surface of your teeth.

How Can I Help Prevent Enamel Erosion?

The best way to prevent enamel erosion is to develop consistent oral hygiene habits, including:

  • Brushing and flossing regularly
  • Rinsing daily with an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Visiting your Kelowna dental centre for regular checkups

Moderating the Intake of Acidic Foods

You can also protect your enamel by reducing or eliminating your intake of acidic foods such as:

  • Pop
  • Citrus fruit and juices
  • Pickled foods
  • Wine
  • Sport drinks

Not everyone will be willing to completely remove these items from their diet. After all, who doesn’t treat themselves to a glass of wine now and then? But if you do eat or drink acidic food, be sure to rinse it back with some water to weaken the effect. Other tips include:

  • Using a straw to drink acidic beverages
  • Chewing sugar-free gum between meals to promote saliva flow
  • Limiting constant snacking
  • Drinking more water throughout the day

Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!

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