6 Ways to Strengthen Weak Enamel
Enamel is the tough substance that makes our teeth white and protects them from the bacteria present in our mouth. While it’s normal for enamel to gradually wear away or weaken, it’s really important that you look after your teeth to keep it strong. Below, you can find some of the top ways to strengthen enamel.
1. Reduce sugary foods and drinks
There are millions of bacteria in our mouths, and generally, they don’t do any harm. Bacteria are there to break down food particles and actually help to keep our mouths clean. However, when you consume sugary foods or drinks, the bacteria can begin to produce excess acid. Eventually, this will start to soften and wear away your enamel.
You can strengthen your enamel by avoiding foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Maybe it’s time to swap out a high-sugar drink for a zero-sugar alternative, or stop adding sugar to your daily cuppa. Don’t forget that fruit contains a lot of natural sugar, so instead of making a fruit smoothie, try replacing some of that fruit with vegetables, such as carrots and spinach.
2. Don’t over brush
Over brushing is a relatively common problem because many people believe that the harder and faster they brush, the more beneficial it is to their teeth and gums. However, doing this can actually damage your enamel. When brushing, keep a fairly loose hold of your toothbrush and simply sweep the brush over the surface of your teeth and gums. It shouldn’t hurt and your gums shouldn’t bleed.
You should also remember to avoid brushing in the hour after you’ve eaten any food. After eating, your enamel is weaker and therefore easier for you to damage it, so this is why you should brush before you eat breakfast.
3. Floss once a day
Flossing is equally as important as brushing, maybe even more so, as it gets into the remaining 40% of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing can help to remove bits of food and therefore reduces the amount of acid the bacteria produce. If you’re unsure how to floss, you can check out our ‘How to floss properly’ guide.
4. Avoid alcohol and other acidic drinks
While sugar isn’t good for your teeth, neither is acid. Too much acid can cause enamel to wear away, and there are plenty of acidic foods and drinks out there that many of us consume on a daily basis. These include tomatoes, oranges, lemons, white wine, fruit juices and red meat. Try to avoid these, eat them in moderation or chew sugar-free gum after consumption.
5. Use fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is put into toothpaste because of its ability to improve enamel, reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay and prevent demineralisation. Therefore, using a minimal amount of fluoride could help to strengthen your enamel. Most toothpastes used 1,500 parts per million (ppm), though children should use a toothpaste with up to 1,000ppm.
6. Replace your brushes regularly
When we brush our teeth, the bacteria in our mouths can transfer onto our oral hygiene tools, including floss, floss picks and toothbrushes. For this reason, you should swap out your toothbrush every three months and replace your floss picks after approximately three uses.
Can tooth enamel grow back?
Our bodies generally have the ability to repair themselves, from healing cuts and scratches to growing nails and hair. Unfortunately, enamel is one of the things that cannot grow back. While enamel is a kind of tissue, it’s not a living tissue and so it can’t regenerate like other aspects of our bodies can. Therefore, you can strengthen and improve the enamel you have, but you won’t be able to regrow it. This is why it’s so important to look after the enamel you have and ensure it protects your teeth for a long time to come.