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5. Treat Heartburn and Eating Disorders

If you have severe heartburn, stomach acids may escape and eventually reach your mouth, where they can erode enamel.

The eating disorder bulimia, in which people vomit food after they eat, is another threat to your enamel.

If you have either condition, talk to your doctor about treatment.

6. Beware of Chlorinated Pools

When swimming pools aren't chlorinated properly, the water may become too acidic. When that happens, the water can damage teeth that get wet.

Check with the recreation center or gym where you swim to make sure the pool's chlorine levels are checked regularly. While swimming, keep your mouth closed so your teeth don’t get wet.

7. Watch Out for Dry Mouth

Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria that can lead to cavities. It also fights the effects of acidic foods. Drink water often to keep your mouth clean and moist.

If you exercise hard, be sure to rehydrate during and after your workout. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy can also help keep saliva flowing in your mouth.

Some medical conditions and medications can cause dry mouth. Talk to your doctor about treatments.

8. Avoid Grinding Your Teeth

Some people grind their upper and lower teeth together, especially at night. Over time it can wear down the enamel.

Talk to your dentist if you've got the grinding habit. He may suggest a custom-fitted mouth guard that can protect your teeth.

9. Get Regular Checkups

To keep your teeth strong, see your dentist every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning. He can spot signs of trouble, such as cavities or tooth grinding, before they do a lot of damage.

Your dentist will also make sure that you're getting the right amount of fluoride to harden and protect enamel. If your water supply isn't fluoridated, ask him if you need fluoride supplements, mouthwashes, or coatings for your teeth.

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