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Avoiding Enamel Erosion in Your Child’s Teeth

Enamel is a thin, but very hard outer covering of the tooth. It’s actually the hardest tissue in the human body. Enamel helps protect teeth from daily use such as biting and grinding. It also insulates the teeth from hot or cold temperatures and chemicals. Because it cannot “grow back,” preventing or stopping enamel erosion is extremely important.

Causes of Enamel Erosion

Overbrushing Can Cause Enamel Erosion

Over time, enamel can start to erode due to certain habits, such as:

  • Brushing teeth with too much pressure or force
  • Consuming acidic foods and beverages (sodas and candies)
  • Neglecting to practice good oral hygiene routines
  • Grinding and clenching the teeth

Symptoms of Erosion

The signs of enamel erosion vary, depending on what stage of erosion the enamel is in. Watch for these signs:

  • Sensitivity to sweets and hot or cold food. In the early stages, your child might feel a twinge of pain. But in later stages of erosion, teeth become extremely sensitive. Your child may feel a painful jolt that takes his or her breath away.
  • Yellowing of teeth.
  • Cracks and chips. The edges of teeth also become more rough and irregular enamel erodes.
  • Appearance of smooth, shiny surfaces on the teeth. This is a sign of mineral loss.

What to Do?

Even though tooth enamel does not regenerate, there is something you can do. You can help your child remineralize the teeth with these healthy habits:

  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
  • Eat foods that are high in vitamin D, calcium and vitamin K (cheese, milk, yogurt, salmon, tuna, seeds, nuts, avocados, olive oil, carrots ,and fruits).
  • Cut way back on sugar intake.
  • Get regular teeth cleanings at the dentist.

Still Have Questions about Enamel Erosion?

At Adams and Seaton, we are Nashville pediatric dentists who care and we’re here to answer your questions. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our staff and pediatric dentists are happy to discuss any of our treatments or recommendations with you!