Can you identify the parts of the tooth? How about the enamel? Is it so different from the dentin? We know teeth — that’s what we’re specialists in, after all. And since a large part of our responsibility lies in educating our patients about oral and dental health, we want to talk about dental anatomy for a second. The outermost layer of the tooth, the part you see, is the enamel, and we have the facts on this part below. Keep reading to find out everything you ever wanted to know (and probably more) about tooth enamel!
What Is the Tooth Enamel?
Tooth enamel is the outer layer of your teeth, or the part that you brush. It is also the hardest and most mineralized part of your body. Even still, tooth enamel is not invincible. It can chip or break when under extreme or repeated pressure, like from nighttime teeth grinding, sports injuries, or damaging habits like nail biting and pen chewing.
The tooth enamel usually appears white, gray, or yellow. It is slightly transparent, so the enamel is not the only factor in the shade of your teeth. This will also be decided based on the dentin that lies just beneath the enamel.
What Does Tooth Enamel Do?
The purpose of tooth enamel is to protect the soft parts of your teeth from injury and tooth decay. That’s why it is so mineralized — these minerals give the enamel strength to help ensure that acids from what you eat and drink do not interfere with your oral health. However, the tooth enamel is not infallible. If bacteria is allowed to linger for too long on the surface of the teeth, weak spots will form that can eventually turn into cavities. Dental cavities are one of the most common conditions for people — and most children will have had a cavity by the time they reach age 11.
How Can I Protect My Tooth Enamel?
Keeping up with proper oral hygiene habits is important for avoiding cavities and keeping your tooth enamel healthy. You should brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, floss your teeth daily, and use a fluoride toothpaste and/or mouthwash to keep the tooth enamel healthy and strong. A visit to the dentist every six months will help to prevent issues with the enamel and also catch oral health hazards almost as soon as they develop for prompt treatment.
There you have it, the bare basics on what you need to know about tooth enamel. Do you have more questions about this important part of your smile? If so, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your Jacksonville dentist!
Meet the Practice
The team at Jacksonville Dental Specialists offers comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. To learn more or to schedule an appointment for superior dentistry, please do not hesitate to contact the office at 904-683-4781.