How to Protect Your Enamel

Tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth that protects them.i Enamel is the strongest substance in your body – even stronger than bone – but it can still be weakened by acids in everyday foods and drinks such as fruits and fruit juice, sodas and sports drinks.ii, iii, iv Your body can’t naturally replace this lost enamel, so it’s important to know the simple steps you can take to reduce the risks of tooth enamel loss and actively help to prevent it.i

What Are the Signs of Tooth Enamel Loss?

If you have tooth enamel loss, you may notice: iii, iv

  • Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Yellowing or discoloured teeth
  • General wearing and rounded tooth edges

Learn more about the signs of tooth enamel loss, as well as some common causes of enamel wear

How to Protect Your Enamel Against Acids in Your Diet

The good news is that it’s possible to both reduce your ongoing risk of tooth enamel loss and actively strengthen acid-weakened enamel.

1. Cut Back on Acidic Foods and Drinks

The acids in food and beverages like sour candy, sodas, sports drinks and fruit juices, can wear away your enamel over time. This is called ‘tooth erosion’.iv

2. Try Water or Dairy After an Acidic Meal or Drink

While it’s best to avoid acidic treats, if you do indulge occasionally, try rinsing your mouth with water or enjoying a dairy-based snack – like a cube of cheese – afterwards. The calcium in dairy products helps neutralize acids that attack your enamel.iv

3. Don’t Brush Your Teeth Immediately After Meals

Tempting as it may be to brush your teeth straight after a meal, the optimum time to brush is about one hour after eating. This will allow your saliva some time to naturally wash away acids and help to reharden your enamel.iv

4. Drink Acidic Drinks Through a Straw to Avoid Contact With Your Teeth

Drinking through a straw helps push the liquid to the back of your mouth and away from your teeth. Don’t swish acidic drinks around, or keep them in, your mouth.iv

5. Better Still, Drink Water

Drinking water helps rinse away dietary acids and is especially important if you have low saliva volume. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against acid, helping to neutralize acidity and remineralize tooth enamel. If you aren’t producing enough, your risk of tooth enamel loss increases.vi

6. Chew Sugar-Free Gum After Eating

Chewing gum boosts saliva production, which can help to neutralise acids from sugary food and drinks. Always look for gum with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.iv

7. Brush Twice a Day with a Soft Toothbrush

One of the easiest ways you can protect your enamel is with a good oral care routine. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush, brushing gently twice a day for at least two minutes.v

8. Brush Your Teeth With Pronamel

Pronamel toothpaste has a clinically proven ingredient to help rebuild enamel strength – making it stronger, healthier and better protected against the effects of everyday acids.* Its specially designed formula works to help essential minerals penetrate deep into the enamel surface, actively strengthening and rehardening weakened enamel every time you brush.

Find out where to buy Pronamel toothpaste.

In addition to the above tips, be sure to visit your dentist for regular checkups every six months to help detect enamel loss at its earliest stage. By taking simple steps every day, you can help protect against enamel loss and enjoy a stronger, healthier smile.

*With twice-daily brushing.

Acidic Fruit Cup Thumbnail

Foods and Drinks That Cause Acid Erosion

Understanding the acidity of your diet can help protect your teeth from the effects of acid erosion.

Read this article

The Composition of a Tooth

What Is Tooth Enamel?

Tooth enamel—the white part of your teeth—cannot be repaired once it’s been worn away. Learn what can wear enamel or cause it to erode.

Read this article

Tooth Enamel Callout

Pronamel® Toothpaste Actively Strengthens Weakened Tooth Enamel

Learn how Pronamel® strengthens weakened enamel and prevents further enamel from deteriorating.

Read this article

SOURCES

By clicking any of the links below you will be taken to an external website that is independently operated and not managed by GSK. GSK assumes no responsibility for the content on the website. If you do not wish to leave this website, do not click on the links below.

i. Tooth. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tooth. Accessed 21/01/20.

ii. Fun Teeth Facts. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/fun-teeth-facts-part-2. Accessed 21/01/20.

iii. Dental erosion. Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/dental-erosion. Accessed 21/01/20.

iv. Dietary acids and your teeth. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/dietary-acids-and-your-teeth. Accessed 21/01/20.

v. Brushing Your Teeth. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth. Accessed 30/03/20.

vi. Dental Erosion. Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government.  https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dental-erosion. Accessed 30/03/20.