You may have heard your dentist talk about tooth enamel. This is the translucent outer covering of the tooth that protects the teeth from the daily wear and tear of chewing, biting, crunching, and grinding, explains WebMD. When the enamel erodes, the main part of the tooth is exposed, causing pain and sensitivity. Enamel is a big deal because once it’s gone it never grows back. You may think enamel loss is a later-in-life problem, but according to Arizona Family Dental, 37 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from enamel erosion. Don’t wait until it’s too later to protect you and your children.
1. Soak nuts and beans. Phytic acid is enemy number one of tooth enamel, says Wellness Mama. Nuts and beans have a large concentration of phytic acid which is why, if you can’t resist a handful of protein-packed almonds, it’s recommended to eat them after they’ve been soaked overnight in salt or lemon water and then rinsed and dehydrated in the oven.
2. Coconut oil. Adding an extra dose of healthy fats to your daily diet can protect the teeth from enamel erosion. Wellness Mama recommends coconut oil for this purpose. It is easy to add coconut oil to your diet. Simply add a tablespoon to your morning smoothie or tea and use it in place of butter or olive oil when cooking.
3. Eat more cheese. This just might be our favorite tip. Skrew Tips reports cheese preserves enamel from eroding. So take a cue from the French and finish your meal not with a slice of cake, but instead with a healthy wedge of Camembert.
4. Rinse. This easy, no-tools tip from WebMD is something everyone should and can adopt. Simply rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks to wash away the dangerous acids.
5. Use a straw. This simple fix prevents the acid in sodas, flavored waters, and fruit juices from splashing around your entire mouth. It’s not a perfect fix, and water is still advocated as the primary liquid in your diet, but according to WebMD, using a straw can help protect your teeth.
6. Sugar-free gum. WebMD suggests chewing sugar-free gum to help the mouth produce more saliva, the body’s natural response for strengthening the teeth with an influx of minerals.
7. Don’t brush directly after eating. Although rinsing after a meal is highly recommended, The Health Site warns against brushing immediately after eating. This is because acidic foods soften the tooth enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes after eating to allow enough time for the saliva to neutralize the acid and re-mineralize the teeth. Following this procedure will protect the teeth against further damage from acidic foods.
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