Learn How to Make Your Teeth Stronger
You might have heard about how important it is to protect your tooth enamel and wondered why. The tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and is essential for strong teeth.
Tooth enamel that has been worn down can increase the risk of tooth decay and poor dental health. Plaque and tartar build-up may also lead to cavities and gum disease.
One of the main reasons why teeth might weaken and tooth enamel might erode is the failure to practice good oral hygiene such as flossing regularly.
Surprisingly, only 31% of adults floss once or more per day in the UK, even though the NHS recommends flossing as part of maintaining overall oral health.
Here’s what you need to know about how to maintain proper oral hygiene and strengthen your teeth.
Table of Contents
What is Tooth Enamel and What are the Signs of Wearing?
The tooth enamel is the outer layer of your teeth that protects against chemical and physical damage.
It’s the first line of defence against anything entering the mouth – including chemicals and bacteria because it’s exposed to many types of fluids and food. As a result, it can be susceptible to enamel erosion, where excess acids wear away the enamel.
Once the enamel erodes, it can cause complications such as increased tooth decay, overly sensitive teeth, stained teeth, and fractured teeth.
Gum disease and enamel loss are often linked because bacteria feast on sugary, sweet foods and starches. Eventually, these acids can destroy your enamel while bacteria will eat away at your gums.
Here are some warning signs of enamel wearing:
- Chips and cracks
- Increased sensitivity to temperature, textures, and taste
- Indentations on the surface of your teeth
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, it’s also because the dentin is being exposed. Tooth decay, gingivitis, dental abrasion, cracked teeth, and tooth whitening agents can also sometimes cause high tooth sensitivity.
The dentin is a middle layer substance that is located between the pulp and the enamel. It’s softer than the enamel and is designed to support the structure of your teeth.
There are also microscopic tubules that connect to the inner pulp of the tooth. If you experience high sensitivity to acidic, hot, cold, spicy food or drinks, you may have enamel erosion.
Proper dental care can keep teeth healthy and protect your tooth enamel from further erosion.
10 Steps to Stronger Teeth
Enamel can’t regenerate or grow back, so it’s important to take care of your enamel. While saliva can maintain the enamel by washing away food matter, neutralizing acidity, and mineralizing it, it cannot recover it.
If you’re looking to strengthen the enamel, there are steps you can take to prevent further damage and make your teeth stronger.
1. Use a Proper Brushing Technique
While brushing your teeth, position the bristles at a 45-degree angle near the gum line. The gum line and tooth surface should be in contact with the bristles.
Make sure to gently brush the surfaces using a back and forth and up and down motion. Many people simply swipe their toothbrush back and forth towards that tooth which is not a proper brushing technique.
Don’t forget to brush the roof of the mouth and tongue to eliminate bacteria. Avoid brushing your teeth too hard or fast as that can wear down your enamel.
Opt to use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Many modern electric brushes now will also warn you if you are brushing too hard, helping to avoid wearing teeth down.
2. Floss Daily
Many of us know we need to floss, but we might think it’s too time-consuming. However, flossing helps to eliminate food particles and harmful substances that brushing simply cannot.
It also enables you to reach into the gaps of your teeth where the toothbrush bristles or mouthwash cannot dislodge. This is why dentists generally recommend that you floss at least once a day
3. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is a mineral that can strengthen weakened tooth enamel, prevent cavities, reduce the growth of oral bacteria, reverse early tooth decay, and slow the loss of minerals from enamel erosion.
In fact, public water supplies add a trace amount of fluoride to a town’s water supply.
Using fluoride toothpaste can further strengthen your teeth and make your teeth more resistant to acids that come from bacteria and foods in your mouth.
4. Avoid Sodas and Drink More Water Instead
The bacteria inside of your mouth feast on sugar, including sugary drinks such as soda. Once they feed on these sugars, they produce acids that soften and wear down your enamel which in turn can lead to tooth decay.
Drinking more water goes beyond reducing your sugar intake.
Water contains fluoride, a natural cavity fighter that also strengthens your teeth.
It can also help to flush down food from your meal, keep your mouth clean, and prevent bacteria from feasting on the remains of food and drink in your mouth.
5. Cut Out Sugar
When sugars are left inside your mouth, harmful bacteria feed on these sugars and form acids.
These acids can eat through the enamel and enter into deeper layers of your teeth and cause cavities.
When you cut out sugar, you can avoid cavities and protect your enamel. To be specific, avoid foods that contain refined sugars such as soft drinks, cereal, sweets, and baked goods.
Instead, opt for natural sugars from fruits because they can also protect your teeth and stimulate saliva flow.
6. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Sugar-free gum can not only freshen your breath but also improve your oral health. Chewing sugarless gum increases saliva flow in your mouth, thus washing away food and neutralizing acids.
Saliva also contains phosphate and calcium to support and strengthen the enamel.
7. Reduce Starchy Foods and Dairy Intakes
Starchy foods like bread, pasta, and rice are made from simple carbohydrates. Eating these foods will increase the number of fermentable sugars inside your mouth, which erodes the enamel in your teeth.
Consuming starchy foods with sugar has been found to increase the risk of tooth decay.
8. Vitamins and Probiotics
Taking probiotics can maintain a healthy mouth and lowers your risk of developing problems such as gingivitis.
When choosing probiotics for remineralization, it’s important to select strains that are already naturally produced in the mouth, so that potentially harmful strains will not be introduced.
These vitamins can be added via supplementation and found in nutritious foods. We recommend vitamins such as calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
9. Mouth Care
Some people experience dry mouth where there isn’t enough saliva production. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate. Calcium is a mineral to maintain strong bones and teeth.
Phosphorus absorbs the calcium and uses it to rebuild tooth enamel. Hence, saliva is important to prevent cavities, and addressing any dry mouth problems is important.
Cleaning your tongue also has many benefits to maintaining good oral care. It eliminates bad breath, reduces bacteria on the tongue, and reduces plaque levels.
10. Treat Stomach Issues
Frequent upset stomachs can wear away the protective enamel on your teeth. That’s because your stomach generates natural acids to help your body digest food.
If you suffer from stomach problems like heartburn, you’ll swallow less often and produce less saliva. With lower saliva production, it won’t clean out the bacteria and food particles effectively.
Chewing gum, particularly sugar-free gum, can help to reduce acidity in the oesophagus to treat stomach issues. Complement this with the regular use of floss to dislodge food particles in your mouth.
Those with an eating disorder such as bulimia may vomit food after eating. Typically this contains stomach acids, which can threaten the enamel.
To strengthen teeth, it’s best to maintain a healthy diet that incorporates whole grains, dairy products, and calcium-rich foods. When you consume healthy food, you’re getting healthy minerals that protect your teeth, such as calcium, vitamin D, and phosphate.
Avoid soft drinks, starchy foods, sugary foods and acidic foods that can wear down the enamel.
If you’ve already experienced some tooth decay, you can reverse some of the early symptoms through demineralization.
To do this, practise good hygiene habits for a healthy mouth, such as flossing, using a toothbrush with soft bristles, using mouthwash daily, and drinking fluoridated water.
Cautiously use whitening products as some whitening strips may wear down your enamel as well.
But Most Importantly – Get Regular Dentist Check-Ups
Regular checkups at a dentist will help to ensure you have healthy teeth. During the checkup with a dentist (who has a DDS or specialization in dentistry), they will examine your oral health and perform a professional cleaning to remove any tartar buildup.
They can inform you if your enamel is seriously eroded, and advise you on any steps to take to prevent further erosion. Many dentists can also provide fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth.
Most people should have dental checkups about twice a year.
Having strong teeth can prevent tooth decay and help you maintain good dental health for a beautiful smile.
This means protecting your enamel and strengthening it through good oral habits such as proper brushing and flossing.
Avoid sugary or starchy foods and drinks that help to produce cavity-causing acids. Lastly, if you have any concerns you can speak to one of our experts, free of charge or book for your regular checkups.