Can Tooth Enamel Grow Back? Here are Some Tips to Protect Your Tooth Enamel.
The human body’s pretty amazing: broken skin heals; cut nails and hair grow back again; fractured bones knit together. But as amazing as the body's ability to repair itself may be, it can’t regrow tooth enamel. Ever.
Enamel is the thin outer covering of teeth that protects the delicate tissues inside. It keeps you from feeling temperature extremes from the hot and cold things you eat and drink. Acids and chemicals that can damage your teeth are also fended off by it. Problem is, tooth enamel is not living tissue, so it can't be naturally regenerated. Unfortunately, you can’t regrow it artificially, either.
What those special toothpastes in the market actually do is they push calcium and phosphates back into the tooth, and it hardens the enamel (to remineralize enamel). While acid draws calcium and phosphates out of teeth, the secret weapon "fluoride" captures the minerals from saliva and forces them back into the tooth.
For now, your best option is to focus on preserving the enamel you have. Brushing and flossing are important, but so is diet: Carbonated sodas and sweets are obvious causes of enamel erosion, but there are many other overt offenders to watch out for, such as fruit juices especially lemon juice.
How to protect tooth enamel
Because it can’t be replaced, your best option is to do what you can to prevent tooth enamel loss.
▪ Good dental care is the best way to keep your mouth healthy. ▪ Cut down on acidic drinks and foods, like sodas, citrus fruits, and juices. When you do have something with acid, have it at meal times to make it easier on your enamel. ▪ Rinse your mouth with water right after you eat or drink something acidic. ▪ Use a straw for sodas and fruit juices so they bypass the teeth. ▪ Finish a meal with a glass of milk or a piece of cheese. This will cancel out acids. ▪ Chew sugar-free gum to lower the amount of acid in your mouth. Gum also helps you make more saliva, which strengthens your teeth with key minerals. ▪ Drink more water during the day if you have dry mouth. ▪ Use a soft toothbrush. And try not to brush too hard. ▪ Wait at least an hour to brush after you’ve had acidic foods or drinks. They soften the enamel and make it more prone to damage from your toothbrush. ▪ Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. ▪ Get treatment for conditions like bulimia, alcoholism, or GERD.
Work with your dentist
Your dentist can detect any erosion and offer tips on ways to reduce it. If a tooth does need treatment, it is important to protect the enamel and the dentine underneath to prevent sensitivity. Usually, simply bonding a filling onto the tooth will be enough to repair it. However, in more severe cases the dentist may need to fit a veneer. If it’s been a while since you’ve been in a dentist’s chair, book an appointment today.