When it comes to maintaining the health of your teeth, the preservation of your tooth enamel is important. The enamel, which is the outermost layer of a tooth, protects the underlying dentin and pulp.
The dentin, which is the layer just beneath the enamel, is much softer. Additionally, it contains tubules that house the dental nerves. Thus, once the enamel starts to wear away, the teeth are likely to become much more sensitive to changes in pressure and temperature.
The innermost layer of tooth material, which is called the pulp, is where the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth reside. If the pulp becomes inflamed or damaged beyond repair, the tooth dies.
The enamel is a tough outer layer that protects the less durable layers beneath it. Nevertheless, once a portion of the tooth enamel is lost, it does not grow back. Consequently, it is important to avoid actions that cause the erosion of your tooth enamel.
Here are a few measures you can take to help keep your enamel in good shape.
Don't Brush Too Hard
If you are brushing your teeth with too much force, you are likely wearing away your tooth enamel. Some people believe that forceful brushing helps ensure that their teeth are clean. However, gently brushing the teeth at a 45-degree angle sufficiently removes plaque and debris from the tooth surfaces.
You can likely confirm that you are brushing your teeth too hard by taking a look at your toothbrush bristles. The bristles of a toothbrush should look fairly new in the months after the brush's first use. If your bristles appear flat or frayed, the warped configuration is likely due to excessive pressure during brushing.
Only Brush With a Soft-bristled Brush
Toothbrushes are available with firm, medium, or soft bristles. Soft bristles clean the teeth sufficiently without damaging your enamel. Additionally, sensitive gums are more likely to be harmed by firm or medium bristles.
Wear a Night Guard if You Have Bruxism
People with bruxism regularly grind their teeth at night. The pressure from the grinding can wear away your tooth enamel. In fact, the pressure can be so great that cracks and chips may develop in your teeth.
A night guard is a customized pressure-absorbing mouth guard that is placed in the mouth before you go to sleep. Since bruxism often occurs while you're sleeping, it is important to always wear the night guard during periods of rest.
To learn more about dentistry and caring for your teeth, schedule a consultation with the dentist in your local area.