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5 Things Patients Don't Know About That Send Them To The Cosmetic Dentist

Contrary to popular belief, tooth enamel simply doesn't last forever

. Although this protective veneer is as thick as a dime, bad habits continued over a lifetime can wear it away and expose teeth's sensitive interior to bacteria. The constant stress of chewing also plays a role in the degradation of enamel, and will eventually require visits to one of the many dentists for restorative work. If the damage is toward the front of the mouth, however, the services of a cosmetic dentist may also be required.

The Anatomy Of A Tooth

Tooth enamel might look and feel hard, but can also get brittle. Underneath this hardened exterior, the protein-rich layer of dentin acts as a shock absorber. If the first line of defense, the enamel, is compromised, and the dentin damaged, the tooth becomes brittle and can shatter through the action of chewing or biting on something hard. This requires the help of a cosmetic dentist in many cases, but the expertise of dentists to repair, nonetheless. Therefore, taking care of the tooth enamel is critical for the health of the tooth. Patients need to take every precaution to keep their teeth healthy.

Bad Habits That Will Require A Visit To The Dentist

Sometimes, the most innocent things can be the most harmful. Here are five things everyone should be aware of:

1. Cough drops: Because cough drops are likely to be held in the mouth for long periods of time, the sugar has a chance to infiltrate all the nooks and crannies of the teeth and stay long enough for bacteria to get a strong foothold.

2. Sugary beverages: Drinking large amounts of sugary beverages such as Kool-Aid or soda will also compromise tooth enamel. The corrosive effects of carbonated soda compound the problem.

3. Sugary snacks before bedtime: Ingesting sugary snacks before bedtime, especially if the teeth aren't brushed, gives hours for bacteria to grow and cause damage such as cavities, which require a visit to the dentist.

4. Consuming large amounts of acidic beverages: Orange juice, grapefruit juice, and lemonade are just some of the acidic beverages that can eat away at tooth enamel, exposing the dentin layer to damage.

5. Brushing immediately after consuming acidic or harsh foods: For years, parents preached to children that they should be brushing immediately after eating. However, this wears away at the softened enamel sending patients running to their dentists far sooner.

Care must be taken with tooth enamel, as technology today can only mimic the substance, not replace it. Porcelain veneers are used by a cosmetic dentist in cases where decay or damage has occurred toward the front of the mouth, however these veneers usually have to be replaced in about ten years.

A Cosmetic Dentist Keeps Busy

Although dentists can spend more than 50 percent of their time restoring decaying or damaged teeth according to the American Dental Association, fully two-thirds of the procedures are replacing dental materials that have failed. Therefore, it's prudent to take care of the tooth enamel in the first place.

Technology has come a long way since George Washington, who had teeth made out of wood, ivory, and horse teeth, but there is still a long way to go. Dentists and scientists are working toward a solution to compromised tooth enamel that reduces damage and extends the life of tooth enamel. In the meantime, good habits and practicing good oral hygiene seem to be the first line of defense in protecting the tooth enamel for life-long benefits.

by: Chris Harmen
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