My family's dental health is important to me. Unfortunately for me, it is not as important to my little ones. Getting my kids to brush and floss on a daily basis is almost like taking on an obstacle course. I talked to my family's dentist about different methods I could try to encourage them to brush and floss on a regular basis. Some of the tricks worked, some did not. After some experimentation and talking to other parents, I was able to come up with a lot of great tips for helping kids care for their teeth. I started this blog to help other parents get creative when it comes to their kids and dental care.
Enamel is the hard, white outer layer of your teeth, and while it's strong, it can be worn away. Here's what you need to know about enamel abrasion.
What causes enamel abrasion?
Enamel can be worn away by anything that rubs or scrapes against your teeth. Pushing too hard when you brush your teeth can wear away your enamel, as can using toothpicks or other hard objects to clean your teeth. Even something as natural as chewing can abrade your enamel over time, especially if your favorite foods are ones that are very hard to chew like nuts, raw vegetables, or barbecued meats.
How do you know if your enamel is abraded?
Your enamel doesn't have any nerve endings, but the sensitive tissue beneath it does. The layer beneath your enamel is called the dentin, and when your enamel wears away, your dentin is exposed. Since the dentin is so sensitive, you'll feel pain every time food, liquids, or even air come in contact with the exposed tissue.
You may also notice changes in the appearance of your teeth as the enamel wears away. Your enamel is white or whitish gray while the dentin is yellow, so your teeth will become more yellow as the enamel wears away and more of the dentin shows through.
Your dentist may also be the one to notice that your enamel is abraded. This can be the case if your enamel is abraded in places that are hard for you to see, like on your molars or on the backs of your teeth.
Can dentists fix your enamel?
It's not possible for your enamel to grow back or heal itself, so the only way to fix your abraded enamel is to see your dentist for treatment. Your dentist will replace your missing enamel with artificial materials like dental bonding or veneers.
Dental bonding is a type of tooth-colored dental glue that is painted onto the surface of your teeth, and veneers are tooth-colored sleeves that fit over your existing teeth. Both of these treatments will replace your missing enamel and keep your sensitive dentin safe. Talk to your dentist to find out which of these treatments will work best for you.
Enamel abrasion can happen in many ways, and when it happens, your teeth will become sensitive. Enamel can't heal, so the problem won't get better on its own. See your dentist right away for treatment if you think your enamel is abraded.