Healthy teeth depends so much on the health and strength of your enamel. The enamel is the outer layer of your teeth and works to minimize wear and tear on a daily basis.  What you eat and drink can strip away vital minerals that make your enamel strong.  Genetics also plays a role in the health of your teeth, as well as experiences as a child.  To keep your teeth healthy, white, and beautiful you need to avoid harming the enamel.

Unfortunately, some people are just born with thin or brittle enamel.  For others, problems arise due to various environmental factors from their childhood.  Prenatal health issues such as vitamin D deficiency or gestational diabetes can lead to enamel problems in children.  Some studies show that children who are malnourished or had childhood diseases such as measles, pneumonia, or frequent high fevers can end up having a weak enamel.

For older teens and adults, acidic foods and drinks can cause significant enamel erosion. This includes fruit juices, sports drinks, sodas, sparkling water, and any foods with vinegar such as pickles. Thankfully, acidic coffee is not as harmful as fruit juices and sodas, especially if you drink coffee in moderation.  However, if you add sugar to your coffee, it could feed bacteria in your mouth, which would then produce more acid to harm your teeth.

Foods that stick to your teeth are a problem as well.  These foods slowly wear away the minerals in the enamel and teeth become more vulnerable to cavities and breaking.

People suffering from acid reflux may find the teeth in the back of their mouth weakened from the stomach acid.

Saliva helps protect teeth by coating them with minerals that helps strengthen teeth.  This means that people who have a chronic dry mouth due to various medications or medical conditions, lack this protection for their teeth.

How do you know if you have a weakened enamel?  The obvious signs are sensitive teeth to things such as heat or cold, and you tend to be prone to cavities.  Dentists can evaluate your enamel by looking at your teeth under a bright light or via x-ray to measure its density.

Thankfully, there are ways we can make our teeth healthier and stronger.  Brushing and flossing are essential. However, you are best to wait half an hour to an hour after eating to allow your saliva to wash away acids and coat your teeth with minerals.  Using a toothpaste that contains fluoride enables calcium and phosphorus to work together to make your enamel harder and more resistant to decay.   Limit consumption of acidic foods, and beverages. The longer you sip on drinks the more you expose your teeth to the acids.  You are best to drink it quickly.  Rinsing your mouth after eating and drinking water regularly throughout the day, will help increase saliva production, which is key for healthy teeth. Of course seeing your dentist on a regular basis can keep you on track for healthy teeth.