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Happy December! Have you been naughty or nice to your tooth enamel this year?


Our tooth’s surface enamel is extremely valuable, as it serves to protect the precious layers beneath it – ideally keeping the tooth strong and healthy for life. Composed primarily of the mineral “hydroxyapatite” and stronger than bone, our enamel unfortunately does have a major weakness – and that comes in the form of oral bacterial acids, which are created when we consume sugars. Enamel is also not immune to the harmful effects of harsh brushing, teeth grinding, or any kind of abrasive wear over time.

With that said, it’s so important to take preventive measures every day to keep the enamel strong – because once this surface layer is gone, it’s gone forever. Our Hamilton dentist says that you can protect your precious enamel in these three general ways:

1. Avoid foods or drinks that are high in sugars and acids as often as possible.

Because sugar consumption leads to acid production and then enamel damage/tooth decay, it’s best to avoid sweets and sugary drinks as often as you can. The same goes for acidic foods and substances, such as citrus fruits and juices, and vinegar-based dressings. When you do consume such things, you can minimize the harm done by keeping a glass of water or milk nearby and swishing the liquid around in your mouth afterward to reduce mouth acidity.

2. Brush gently, and with a brush head with soft bristles.

Using a soft bristled brush head and avoiding aggressive cleaning techniques will also aid in preserving your enamel for life. You can always ask your dentist or hygienist to remind you about the technique you should be using to brush.

3. Avoid teeth grinding, nail biting, and/or other abrasive habits.

Some people grind their teeth at night (a condition called bruxism) but do not sleep with a mouth guard to protect their smile. Others habitually bite their nails, or don’t think twice about using their teeth as a bottle opener, and so on! These habits are all ones to steer clear of in order to keep the enamel strong and safe.

Will you be making any enamel-friendly changes from now on? Your smile will surely appreciate it now and in the long run!



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