We all want white, sparkling, straight teeth. But none of that matters if the foundation is weak. That’s why strong tooth enamel—the outer protective layer of teeth—is essential for a beautiful smile. Here are 7 tips to strengthen tooth enamel.
Brush Properly (And Choose the Right Toothpaste)
Learning how to strengthen enamel starts with your brushing routine. It’s important to brush twice a day for two minutes every day. Just be careful not to overbrush! Brushing too fast or too hard can wear down your enamel over time.
And be sure to always use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can help rebuild weakened enamel and even reverse the earliest stages of tooth decay. For some patients prone to decay, we may recommend prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste or MI paste, a product that releases calcium and phosphate, minerals that can help repair and strengthen enamel, to the surface of the teeth.
Drink More Water
We know what you’re thinking—can you strengthen the enamel on your teeth just by drinking more water? It’s really true!
Drinking water helps to fight dry mouth, dilute decay-causing acids, and wash away leftover food after meals. Plus, it washes your teeth with enamel-strengthening minerals like calcium, phosphate, and fluoride.
Help your body strengthen weak enamel by eating certain fortifying foods. Dairy products high in calcium and phosphorus, like milk, yogurt, and cheese, can counter decay-causing acids in your mouth and protect enamel. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, like carrots and apples, can also help keep your teeth and gums clean. And, we can’t forget about strawberries! These summer berries contain malic acid, a natural enamel whitener.
Unsurprisingly, foods high in sugar just aren’t good for your teeth. Cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar and create enamel-wearing acid as a byproduct. So limit your intake of sweets. In particular, avoid sipping on sugary beverages for long periods of time and watch out for sticky, chewy treats like dried fruit and caramel—these can get stuck in and on teeth, giving the sugar in them more time to cause decay.
And when you do enjoy a sweet treat, try to time it so you’re eating it at, or shortly after, mealtime. Your mouth produces more saliva during meals, and this helps neutralize acids in your mouth, as well as wash away food particles.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
On the go and don’t have time to brush or floss your teeth after eating? Reach for a stick of sugarless gum to help protect your enamel. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva which, as we’ve mentioned, helps wash away food, neutralize acids, and rid your mouth of decay-causing bacteria.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Teeth grinding (or bruxism) is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth, often unconsciously. Over time, this can wear down your tooth enamel and cause a host of other problems. If you have a habit of grinding, Dr. Giaquinto can create a custom mouthguard for you to protect your teeth.
Bonus tip: Be sure to come in and see us at Cottonwood Dental for regular cleanings and checkups! We can spot signs of trouble, such as cavities or tooth grinding, before they cause a lot of damage. We’ll also make sure you’re getting the right amount of fluoride to keep your tooth enamel strong.
Looking for more tips on how to build enamel and strengthen teeth? Feel free to contact us anytime. We’re always happy to assess your oral hygiene routine and provide ideas for improvement so you can achieve your healthiest, most beautiful smile yet.
About The Author
Dentist at Cottonwood Dental
Dentistry is a profession that requires many layers of knowledge and training. My background encompasses three post-grad degrees along with a command of aesthetics and precision. Both of those are necessary when creating the great results that we promise our patients. Being a graduate of the University of New Mexico and Marquette University School of Dentistry has provided me with a launching point for my practice at Cottonwood Dental. My ongoing research… [Read full bio]