5 Tips to Protect Your Tooth Enamel As You Age

Apr 16, 2024
5 Tips to Protect Your Tooth Enamel As You Age

5 Tips to Protect Your Tooth Enamel As You Age

As you get older, your body changes in a myriad of ways. That includes your mouth. If you’ve ever noticed that older people tend to have yellower teeth, staining isn’t the only place to put the blame. As you age, the white enamel on the outside of your teeth also thins and cracks, showing the yellow layer underneath.

That thinning poses a problem. Your enamel protects your teeth from decay. Since it already gets thinner through the years, avoiding issues like cavities and tooth loss means proactively protecting it. 

Supporting your enamel requires you to take specific steps. These steps include both at-home care and visits to Gemini Master-Patel, DMD, and our team for regular dental care. You can see us at either of our Riverside Dental offices in Yonkers or Thornwood, New York.

Here are five things you can do to protect your enamel as you age. 

#1: Watch what you eat and drink

Foods that contain a lot of acid harm your enamel. Similarly, high-sugar options fuel the bacteria that eat away at your enamel. 

If you want to protect your enamel, watch how much you consume of problem foods and drinks like:

  • Alcohol
  • Citrus
  • Coffee
  • Potato chips
  • Soda
  • Sports drinks

Sticky foods like dried fruit and candy also pose a problem because they adhere to your teeth, making it harder for your enamel to protect itself from decay. 

#2: Use a straw

When you do want a sugary or acidic drink, grab a straw. The straw limits how much that beverage comes into contact with your teeth. 

#3: Get your calcium

Your enamel primarily consists of calcium. Choosing food sources that are rich in calcium can help strengthen this protective outer layer. 

Dairy isn’t your only way to get this nutrient. Other options like beans, almonds, and leafy greens can help support your enamel. 

#4: Brush and floss daily

The sugars in what you eat and drink feed the bacteria that try to eat into your enamel. Brushing and flossing every day gives you a way to remove that bacteria from your teeth, limiting the negative effects of plaque as much as possible. 

#5: Get your teeth checked annually

While regular flossing and brushing go a long way toward protecting your enamel, it’s relatively common for people to miss hard-to-reach areas in their at-home oral care. This can allow plaque to harden into tartar, which contributes to tooth decay. You can’t get tartar off with your toothbrush or floss. 

If you visit our team regularly, we can remove the tartar to protect your enamel. We can also check your teeth to see if there are any areas of tooth decay we should address. Catching these problems early prevents the issue from spreading, affecting more of your enamel. 

If your enamel isn’t looking as bright as you want it to, you can also use your appointment to talk with our team about teeth whitening

Ultimately, your tooth enamel naturally thins as you age, but you can take steps to keep it as strong as possible. For help, call the Riverside Dental office nearest you or book your appointment online today.