Since your teeth require continuous, daily attention, you might think that they’re helpless without a hygiene routine. Nevertheless, teeth are covered by the most resilient substance your body produces. While it’s true that poor hygiene leads to destructive dental diseases, the threat stems more from what your teeth are subjected to rather than an inability to protect themselves. Rochester dentist, Dr. Calcagno, can help you improve your hygiene routine by explaining your teeth’s natural protection, and how caring for your teeth helps bolster their defenses.
Amazing Tooth Enamel
You may recognize tooth enamel as the strong, semi-translucent material that surrounds and protects your teeth from infectious oral bacteria. It’s also the reason why your teeth shine as they do. Your teeth maintain strong enamel through a steady supply of calcium and phosphate, which make up the majority of tooth enamel’s structure (along with other trace minerals). When you eat or drink anything, the bacteria in your mouth metabolize the nutrients in your meals. Some of these germs convert carbohydrates like sugar into organic acid, which depletes teeth of minerals and weakens enamel. The more often you eat, and the less often you brush your teeth, the weaker enamel becomes under the barrage of acid. In time, enamel will develop holes that it can’t repair and bacteria can slip past it to infect your tooth’s main structure (tooth decay), resulting in a cavity.
How to Keep Your Teeth Strong
Besides brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, which helps control oral bacteria and the acid they produce, you can help maintain strong tooth enamel with these tips;
- Control your snacking habits—every time you eat, oral bacteria can produce acid. Limiting the amount of times you snack throughout the day minimizes the amount of time your teeth are subjected to acid.
- Drink a lot of water—oral bacteria thrive without oxygen (they’re anaerobic). Water and saliva (which is over 99% water) help neutralize bacteria and organic acid in your mouth.
- Use fluoride toothpaste—fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen enamel by bonding to its surface. Most toothpaste brands contain fluoride, and Dr. Calcagno can recommend fluoride treatments at our office if your enamel is significantly weak.
About Dr. Calcagno:
Dr. Gilly Calcagno is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Minnesota Dental Association, and is active in local dental implant study clubs. To schedule a consultation, call Calcagno Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry today at (507) 281-3659.