There are plenty of ways to make sure that your dental hygiene is up to par; between toothbrushes, dental flossers and dental picks, and tongue cleaning products — and of course, making regular appointments with your dentist for cleanings — there are tons of simple and affordable ways to customize your cleaning routine to fit your dental hygiene needs.
And the one thing that it all comes down to is tooth enamel, believe it or not. If you don’t know what your tooth enamel is, what it does, and how you can protect (or hurt) it, then your cleaning regime still isn’t complete. So with that in mind, here are a few basic facts about tooth enamel for you:
- Tooth enamel is the outer most part of your teeth, and even though your teeth are technically bones, the enamel covering them isn’t actually part of the bone itself. Tooth enamel is an extremely durable material made from the proteins and minerals of living cells. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest natural surface in the human body and it can protect teeth for thousands of years (which is why archaeologists find teeth with skeletons so often).
- Despite being such a hard material, tooth enamel can be worn down over time throughout erosion (e.g., if you put too much pressure on your teeth when you brush) and through chemical interactions caused by ingredients in food (most notably sugary foods and sour/acidic foods). Soft drinks are particularly harsh on tooth enamel because the sugars and chemicals are constantly passing over the teeth and coating the enamel; unless you get in the habit of rinsing your mouth out after every drink, your tooth enamel will really suffer over time.
- Even though tooth enamel can become yellow or discolored over time (just like any other mineral substance), the frustrating part about decayed tooth enamel is that you can’t see when it starts to wear off — and there aren’t any products on the market yet that can create new tooth enamel once it’s gone. The best solution, in order to maintain proper dental hygiene, is to use preventative oral health products that protect your enamel and to avoid too many foods with harsh chemicals.
And of course, let’s not forget about the importance of visiting your dentist on a regular basis for teeth cleanings and dental health examinations!