The hard outer layer on the crown of your teeth is called enamel. You may have heard about it before, probably from your dentist or from dental product commercials, but how much do you know about tooth enamel? Erlanger, Kentucky dentist Dr. Darlene Sand Wall offers these fun facts about your teeth’s most important protector.
- Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue that the body produces–even harder than bone! It is also one of the hardest substances found on earth, second only to diamonds.
- Enamel only covers the crown (top) of your tooth that is visible above the gum line. Your tooth’s root is not protected by enamel and can become quickly infected if exposed by receding gums.
- Contrary to popular belief, enamel is not white; it is translucent. The white coloring of your tooth is derived from the inner part, known as the dentin. Enamel can stain, however, from food, dark colored beverages, coffee, and tobacco use. At your six-month dental checkup, Dr. Sand Wall will perform a thorough cleaning to remove stains and reduce your risk of permanent staining.
- Although strong, enamel is subject to erosion. Acids are the main culprit of enamel erosion. Refrain from excessive consumption of fruit and soft drinks to reduce your risk of damaging your enamel.
- Unlike bones, your tooth’s enamel contains no living cells to repair itself. It can, however, strengthen itself with minerals such as calcium and phosphate. Acid attacks drain your enamel of these minerals, making it weak and vulnerable. Consuming milk and other foods rich in calcium can assist your enamel in remineralizing itself.
Your tooth’s enamel is its first defense against tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day removes food debris and bacterial plaque before it can linger long enough to cause damage. Visit Dr. Sand Wall’s office every six months for your comprehensive checkup to monitor the state of your enamel and determine your risk of oral infection.
To learn more about caring for your dental health, call our Erlanger, Kentucky office at (859) 344-8500 to schedule a consultation.