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Tooth Enamel Erosion and Restoration

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How do you prevent enamel loss?

To prevent enamel loss and keep teeth healthy, be sure to brush and floss teeth daily. See your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleaning. You can also try the following:

  • Eliminate highly acidic foods and drinks from your diet such as carbonated sodas, lemons, and other citrus fruits and juices. Rinse your mouth immediately with clear water after eating acidic foods or drinking acidic drinks.
  • Use a straw when you drink acidic drinks. The straw pushes the liquid to the back of your mouth, avoiding your teeth.
  • Monitor snacks. Snacking throughout the day increases the chance of tooth decay. The mouth is acidic for a few hours after eating foods high in sugar and starches. Avoid snacking unless you're able to rinse your mouth and brush teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum between meals. Chewing gum boosts saliva production up to 10 times the normal flow. Saliva helps strengthen teeth with important minerals. Be sure to select sugar-free gum with xylitol, which is shown to reduce acids in beverages and foods.
  • Drink more water throughout the day if you have low saliva volume or dry mouth.
  • Use fluoridetoothpaste. Fluoride strengthens teeth, so make sure fluoride is listed as an ingredient in your toothpaste.
  • Talk to your dentist about daily fluoride mouthwash if you have a history of cavities. In addition, ask your dentist if sealants may be helpful in preventing enamel erosion and tooth decay.

Can you get too much fluoride?

Yes, it is possible to get too much fluoride. While fluoride is useful in preventing tooth decay, too much fluoride can cause problems like enamel fluorosis. This condition can occur in children and causes defects in the enamel of the teeth.

Children with enamel fluorosis may have ingested too much fluoride through supplements, or they took fluoride supplements in addition to drinking fluoridated water. Also, swallowing fluoride toothpaste increases the chances of enamel fluorosis.

Most children with enamel fluorosis have mild conditions that are not a reason for concern. Yet in some severe cases, the teeth are discolored, pitted, and difficult to keep clean.

How is tooth enamel loss treated?

Treatment of tooth enamel loss depends on the problem. Sometimes tooth bonding is used to protect the tooth and increase cosmetic appearance.

If the enamel loss is significant, the dentist may recommend covering the tooth with a crown. The crown may protect the tooth from further decay.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr., DMD on May 25, 2014
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Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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