4. Have Heartburn? Stop Ignoring It!
With severe heartburn, stomach acids may escape up into the esophagus. If those acids reach your mouth, they can erode enamel. If you have symptoms of heartburn, talk to your doctor about treatment.
5. Learn About Dry Mouth
Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Saliva also neutralizes acidic foods. People with xerostomia, or very low salivary levels, often show signs of enamel erosion. Drink water often to keep your mouth clean and moist. If you exercise strenuously, be sure to rehydrate during and after your workout. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy can stimulate saliva production. Some medical conditions and certain medications can cause dry mouth. If dry mouth persists, talk to your doctor.
6. Stop Grinding Those Teeth
Some people grind their upper and lower teeth together, especially at night. “Over time, grinding can wear down the enamel surface and destroy teeth,” says dentist Richard Price, DMD, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “If you notice yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist.” Custom-fitted tooth guards can help protect teeth from damage.
7. Stop Avoiding The Dentist
To keep your enamel strong, see your dentist every six months for a check-up and teeth cleaning. Your dentist can spot signs of trouble, such as cavities or tooth grinding, before they do extensive damage to your enamel. Your dentist will also make sure that you’re getting the right amount of fluoride to protect your teeth. Fluoride hardens and protects tooth enamel. If your water supply is not fluoridated, ask your dentist if you need to take extra steps to protect your teeth. Your dentist may recommend fluoride supplements, mouthwashes, or coatings for your teeth.