Facts about Your Local Pediatric Dentist in Pequannock

by | Feb 21, 2014 | Dental

The enamel covering our teeth is the hardest substance of the entire body. The overall concern that your local pediatric dentist in Pequannock will stress is that enamel tends to wear out sooner or later. This is why it is important to teach your child the importance of good oral hygiene. What factors are likely to weaken enamel? Are there ways to strengthen enamel? These questions, and more, will be answered below.

Enamel: A protective substance for teeth

A tooth has two parts: the crown, which is the visible part of the tooth that protrudes from the gum and the root. The crown is covered by enamel, and under the enamel is dentin, which is similar to bone. The dentin surrounds the pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Enamel covers the crown and has the goal of protecting the tooth. This dense network of mineral crystals consists of calcium hydroxyapatite, which allows the enamel to be the strongest substance in the body.

However, the enamel and its regenerative power reduces when there are oral problems present. Enamel wears away over time, through a process called demineralization. This further predisposes your child’s teeth to cavities and other oral issues. Indeed, any alteration of the enamel facilitates a bacterial attack of tooth. Please note that demineralization is accelerated by ingesting sugars (candy, sugary drinks, soda, juice, etc.). Bacteria feed on sugar and produce lactic acid, which weakens the enamel. Saliva plays an important role in countering the demineralization process because it helps eliminate sugar and acids.

What contributes to weakened tooth enamel?

*   Aging;

  Consumption of sugary foods or drinks;

*   Lack of vitamin D, childhood infections during the formation of permanent teeth (measles, chickenpox, etc.);

*   Repeated vomiting (as in bulimia nervosa), which leaves trace amounts of gastric acid in the mouth. Stomach acids also accelerate the demineralization of enamel. If your child is suffering from either of these issues, contact your doctor or dentist immediately;

*   Chlorine also weakens teeth, promoting enamel demineralization. This is the case for some professional swimmers who spend much of their time in chlorinated pools;

*   Bruxism (compulsive teeth grinding) rapidly increases the wear rate of enamel by a purely mechanical phenomenon; and

*   Poor oral hygiene increases the contact time of acids on enamel.

For more information about childhood dentistry, contact your local Pediatric Dentist in Pequannock today.


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