Oral Health Buzz
3 Habits That Can Help Fortify Enamel
Wendy J. Woudstra
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, yet it erodes because of the tiny bacteria living in our mouths. Maintaining good oral hygiene can keep those bacteria from creating cavities. Developing these three habits can actually strengthen your teeth and fortify enamel over time to prevent enamel erosion.
Drink Fluoridated Water
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is always present to a small degree in water, but many cities and companies also add fluoride to the water supply. Years of research have proven that drinking fluoridated water can reduce your risk of cavities by 20 to 40 percent.
Fluoride helps fortify enamel in a couple of ways. First, when the fluoride in the water makes contact with your teeth as you drink, some of it is incorporated into the surface of your teeth, making them less vulnerable to decay.
Secondly, after you ingest the fluoride, it will be present in your saliva, which is continually in contact with enamel; thus, giving the fluoride a second chance to absorb into the enamel and make your teeth more decay-resistant.
Additionally, choosing water over sodas or juices eliminates one common source of sugars in your mouth that can contribute to tooth decay.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which is a very good thing for your teeth. Not only does your saliva wash debris away from your teeth and neutralize the acids that cause cavities, but the mineral content of your saliva can remineralize and thereby strengthen your tooth enamel.
Some gum manufacturers are adding a compound known as Recaldent to their gum. Recaldent, less commonly known as casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), may both stop demineralization and help remineralize your enamel.
Brush With Enamel-Hardening Toothpaste
When choosing a toothpaste for your family, selecting a fluoride toothpaste will ensure that you are protecting and hardening your enamel while you clean your teeth. Many toothpastes, such as Colgate Total�� Enamel Strength, are specially formulated to help strengthen tooth enamel. Getting in the habit of brushing at least twice daily will help keep your enamel strong and your teeth free of cavities.
Learn more about what makes teeth strong at the Colgate Oral Care resources.