Your teeth touch so many different things. Think about it: In any given day, you might sip coffee and tea, swig back water and pop, chomp on a wad of gum, and rake the bristles of your toothbrush across your teeth and drag waxy floss between them.
The thin, outer layer of hard tissue on your teeth is called enamel, and it helps protect the teeth from decay while maintaining the tooth's structure and shape. It also sees a lot of action – some of it good and some of it bad for its health and appearance. Even a few things you do with the best of intentions can do some damage.
Your saliva works to protect the enamel of your teeth from a small amount of the acid found in many foods and drinks. But if you eat or drink too much of certain types of foods and beverages, acid can build up to levels beyond your saliva's neutralizing powers and begin to weaken enamel.
When your tooth enamel erodes, the dentin underneath the enamel becomes visible, making your teeth look yellow and causing heightened sensitivity to heat, cold, and strong flavours.
Enamel wear can be easily avoided. Just think about the foods and drinks you consume and your oral hygiene habits.
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