What Is Tooth Enamel?

Tooth enamel is the visible, outermost covering of your teeth. The color of healthy enamel varies from light yellow to a gray or blue-like white. It’s the hardest substance in the human body and contains a high percentage of minerals. These minerals provide enamel with the strength it needs to protect the teeth and help keep them looking bright and white.

The Anatomy of a Tooth


The role of tooth enamel

Enamel has an average thickness of 2.58 mm—about the size of a thin wedding band or a key. Yet, it effectively protects the sensitive inner layers of teeth from the acids that can cause painful cavities and from exposure to hot, cold, and acidic foods.

Enamel is also the key to white teeth. If the white layer of enamel wears away, it exposes the yellow inner layer of the tooth, called dentin.

How to protect your enamel

Keeping enamel strong is important for maintaining good oral hygiene—and having strong enamel makes your teeth more resistant to acid wear. By taking simple steps every day, you can help protect your teeth from the effects of acid erosion.

Woman Smiling, Showing White Teeth and Holding a Toothbrush Thumbnail

5 Ways to Keep Your Tooth Enamel Strong

Learn some simple steps you can take to start protecting your tooth enamel from acid erosion.

Woman Drinking Water Callout

Fluoride: How You Get It and Why You Need It

Discover how fluoride can protect your teeth from decay and reduce enamel erosion caused by acid.

Woman Smiling with Healthy Tooth Enamel

The Importance of Enamel-Safe Whitening

Learn why keeping your enamel safe is important, especially if you want healthy, white teeth.