We all know that, as we get older, parts of our bodies can just start to wear down and show wear and tear; teeth are no exception. The rigors of daily life can take a toll on your smile, but you don’t have to settle for a diminished smile forever. Today, our Lincoln Park dentists are sharing some information about how and why teeth become compromised, so that you can better protect your smile.
As you may already know, the dental enamel is the outermost, protective covering of the tooth. Healthy enamel is shiny, pretty non-porous, and thick. While dental enamel is strong, it is by no means indestructible. Over time, your enamel can weaken, thin, and even crack due to a number of factors:
- Acidic foods and drinks: when you consume something acidic, your dental enamel is temporarily softened due to acid exposure. This leaves your enamel susceptible to erosion. Some commonly consumed acidic substances include coffee, red wine, sodas, and fruit juices.
- Bruxism: patients who chronically grind or clench their teeth suffer from a condition called bruxism. The tooth-on-tooth pressure caused by bruxism can wear down enamel over time.
- Hard and abrasive substances: if you’re someone who regularly chomps on mints, hard candies, or ice, you may be inadvertently causing enamel damage that compounds over time. This habit causes micro-cracks and chips in the enamel, which, while invisible to the naked eye, undermine the very structure of the tooth.
In order to protect your teeth for the long-term it is important for you to follow all of your dentist’s recommendations when it comes to at-home and professional dental care. You also want to maintain a healthy diet, and eliminate harmful habits, like chewing hard candies, from your daily life.