What is Tooth Enamel?
Have you ever wondered about tooth enamel? What is it? How important is it? How can you protect it? Here are the answers to these questions. Read Full Article
Tooth enamel is the hardest, most highly mineralized substance in the body. It forms the outer, most visible layer of each tooth. Enamel is composed of hydroxyapatite, a mineral compound of calcium and phosphate. The colour can vary from light yellow to grayish-blue to white. Because it is semi-translucent, enamel is only partially responsible for the colour of your teeth.
Enamel plays a very important role in protecting teeth from decay, so it is essential to do everything possible to prevent your enamel from eroding. Tooth enamel forms a strong barrier that shields the inner layers of teeth from the effects of acids and plaque. It also protects these sensitive inner layers from foods and beverages that are very hot or very cold.
If tooth enamel is destroyed, your body does not make more to replace it. Unlike other parts of your body — like your bones — enamel does not contain any living cells, so it cannot regenerate.
You can protect your enamel by avoiding excessive amounts of foods and liquids known to cause damage. Sugary foods and beverages acidic fruits are among the most damaging to your enamel. When these substances stick to your teeth and react with bacteria in your mouth, acids are produced which can damage your enamel. Biting or chewing very hard foods, such as hard candy or ice cubes, may also damage enamel by causing it to crack or chip. These foods are best sucked rather than chewed.Of course, you can also protect your enamel by practising good oral hygiene habits, such as regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and visiting your dental professional for regular cleanings. Using toothpaste such as Colgate* Enamel Health™ toothpaste can also help protect enamel from acid damage.
Enamel is an important substance that deserves to be taken care of. You can learn more about tooth anatomy in the Colgate* Oral Care resources.