Teeth are a pretty awesome feature of the human body, and enamel is a pretty incredible feature of the teeth. It’s the first line of defense against decay, and the primary feature of teeth that allows us to chew our food. But what makes enamel so amazing?
Human teeth mainly consist of pulp, dentin, cementum, and enamel. Enamel is the strongest and hardest of all those components. In fact, it’s harder than bone and resists scratching better than steel! It mostly consists of hydroxyapatite crystals, a form of calcium phosphate. Yet, even with its strength, enamel is not indestructible.
Enamel is Not Living Tissue
If you scrape or cut your skin, it heals over time. If you break a bone, it eventually mends. And with each rigorous workout, you tear apart muscles that your body rebuilds even stronger. Yet, chipped or cracked teeth, a major cavity in the enamel — none of these are repaired by your body, because enamel is not living tissue. The outermost surface of your teeth can be remineralized with calcium and phosphorus molecules floating around in your saliva, and fluoride definitely helps this process, but remineralization has definite limits. That’s why crowns and fillings are part of our Placerville dentists’ repertoire.
As you continue chewing, crunching, and mashing your food throughout your lifetime, your tooth enamel wears down. Not only that, but plaque and tartar buildup due to bacterial activity. All of these accelerate the breakdown process. That’s why a good routine for oral hygiene is so important! Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, supplemented with flossing, counteracts the harm caused by allowing plaque, tartar and bacteria buildup. The added fluoride also boosts the remineralization process, bolstering your enamel each time your give attention to your teeth.
Check with the Enamel Experts!
It’s also vital to inspect your teeth, making sure your enamel is benefitting from cleaning and remineralization. The average person doesn’t have the skills, training or experience to identify issues with the enamel, but the helpful staff of the Placerville Dental Group is more than qualified. We use our training, experience, and top-notch equipment to identify problem areas in your enamel, develop a plan of action, and follow-up to make sure your enamel stays intact. If you haven’t already, give us a call or schedule a checkup online. Let’s make sure your enamel keeps its strength and integrity!