The human body is a marvelous creation that scientists are far from being able to fully understand. The more researchers discover about the way we work, the more we can sit back and be amazed at all of the intricate systems that keep us happy and functioning. One part of the body that doesn’t always get the glory it deserves is tooth enamel. Your dentist in Longmont is here to talk about this amazing substance and how it relates to your smile’s health.
What Is Tooth Enamel?
Teeth are not just little pieces of bone that stick out from your gums. In fact, teeth aren’t considered bones at all. Their composition, as well as they way they heal and grow, is quite different from bones. One of the significant ways that teeth are different from your skeletal system is that they possess enamel.
Enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth, and it is the hardest substance in the human body. It’s even harder than steel (although it is more brittle). Enamel is naturally translucent and has a bluish-white or slight yellowish color. It is usually possible to see hints of dentin — the second layer of teeth — through the enamel.
Why Is Enamel So Important?
Your enamel’s job is simply to protect your teeth. It serves as a barrier between the outside world and the sensitive inner layers of your teeth. When it is healthy, it prevents substances like hot and cold foods and acids from irritating the nerves inside your tooth, thereby saving you from pain.
However, when enamel becomes worn thin, it isn’t able to do perform its duty as it should. That’s why you may experience pain when you eat or drink certain foods, or even when your teeth are exposed to cold air.
Sometimes, cavities develop in the enamel. The decay can spread beyond this outermost layer and damage the dentin and the pulp (the innermost layer of the teeth). If this happens, you may end up in a great deal of pain and need to visit your family dentist in Longmont for a root canal or other major treatment.
How Can You Protect Your Enamel?
Clearly, protecting your tooth enamel is important if you want to maintain good oral health. Here are a few tips to help you keep your smile strong from the outside in.
- Make fluoride your friend. Fluoride can help to remineralizer enamel, restoring bits of it that wear away throughout the day. To get enough fluoride, be sure to use a toothpaste that contains it.
- Reduce your sugar intake. Sugar interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, leading to cavities.
- Visit your dentist twice a year. Your dentist or hygienist can give you personalized tips on how to preserve your enamel. If you do develop a cavity, a professional can fill it before the decay becomes too serious.
Tooth enamel is amazing! Do your best to protect it, and it will protect you.
We have a talented team of dentists in our office in Longmont, all of whom are eager to help you keep your smile in great shape. If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, please contact us at 303-772-9966.