Your pearly whites not only give you a beautiful smile, but they also play a pivotal role in an essential element in all of our lives – eating! Have you ever wondered how our teeth can work so hard multiple times every day and still stay healthy and strong? Below our Calgary dentist describes five of the most amazing facts about your teeth and how you can keep them healthy, happy and smiling for a lifetime.
1. YOUR TOOTH ENAMEL ROCKS!
Your teeth are comprised of several layers. The outer most layer is called the enamel. The enamel portion of your tooth is generally shiny with varying shades and degrees of colour. According to the American Dental Association, the enamel layer of your teeth has a 96% mineral composition. Believe it or not, this makes the enamel on your teeth even stronger than bone and therefore extremely (but not completely) resistant to damage.
According to our Calgary dentist, the natural colour of a person’s enamel can range from yellow to white to even a grey colour, depending upon a variety of factors including an individual’s dental health, their diet, whether there has been any trauma to the teeth and their genetics. Although the colour of a person’s enamel can signify a potential issue with their dental health, according to our Calgary dentist, healthy teeth can come in a very wide range of colours and shades. If, however, you notice any change in the colour of your teeth, it may be time to seek the advice of your Calgary dentist to ensure that the colour change is not a result of an issue with your dental health. For instance, teeth that were white but are changing to a yellowish colour may be a sign that the enamel layer is wearing away and an appointment with your Calgary dentist is in order. Or, if you notice that your child is developing white spots on their teeth, it may be a sign of fluorosis, which is caused by swallowing toothpaste with fluoride. Generally, the safest rule of thumb recommended by our Calgary dentist is that, if you notice any changes to the appearance of your teeth, you have it checked by your dental professional to rule out any issues that may require treatment.
The enamel layer of your teeth is a very important layer as it protects the inner layers of your teeth, which are the softer layers, including the dentin and the pulp. When you attend for a dental examination at our Calgary dentist office, one of the things we will be looking for is any damage to your tooth’s enamel, which protects the inner layers of your teeth due to its inherent strength. If there is any damage to your enamel, for example from decay or trauma, it is extremely important for your Calgary dentist to restore the enamel portion of your tooth with a filling, veneer or crown, in order to protect the tooth’s inner layers.
2. YOUR BITE PACKS A STRONG PUNCH!
Did you know that the bite force of a great white shark (not surprisingly our Calgary dentist’s favourite animal) is a remarkable 4000 psi, and the bite force of a saltwater crocodile can be as high as 3700 psi? (from brightside.me)
Although the force of a human bite cannot compare with these and many other creatures in the animal kingdom, it nevertheless is remarkably strong. According to the American Dental Association, the human bite can exert an average force of 200 pounds of pressure! This may be one of the reasons why our Calgary dentist has seen many cases of damage to teeth caused by using teeth as tools. As tempting as it may be, heed the advice of our Calgary dentist and save your pearly whites from the party tricks and always use a bottle opener to open your favourite beverage!
3. YOUR TEETH CAN TELL A TALE
Because your teeth are so strong, they will actually outlast you. Because of this durability, human teeth remains have been extremely helpful in allowing scientists to discover useful and interesting information about our ancient ancestors, including their diet, where they lived, their age at death and even whether they were subjected to certain diseases, illnesses and even stress.
4. TEETH CAN’T HEAL ON THEIR OWN
One of the reasons why your teeth enamel is so strong is that, unlike your bones, they cannot heal on their own. If you damage your tooth, the only way to fix it will be with a restoration such as a crown, veneer or filling from your Calgary dentist. If your tooth is damaged beyond repair, then you may have no option but to have it extracted by your Calgary dentist. If an extraction is necessary, then your Calgary dentist can provide options for replacement of the tooth such as with a dental implant, dental bridge or dentures.
Because your teeth cannot self-repair, it is particularly important that you look after the set of pearly whites you are born with, including with regular dental examinations and teeth cleanings with your Calgary dentist.
5. HEALTHY TEETH NEED YOUR HELP
Although your teeth are naturally strong, they do require your help to keep them that way. This includes maintaining a regular at-home dental hygiene routine consisting of brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice per day, flossing daily, seeing your Calgary dentist at least annually for a dental examination and cleaning and avoiding injury to your teeth, including by always protecting your smile with a mouth guard when participating in sporting activities.
If you have any questions about how you can keep your smile healthy, happy and beautiful through all the stages of your life, call our Calgary dentist office today at 403.283.4252. Our Calgary dentist is pleased to provide all general dental services, including sedation dentistry, implant dentistry, emergency dentistry, restorative dentistry and preventative dentistry. We would be honoured to be your and your family’s lifelong partner in your dental health!
This blog post written by our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, D.D.S., is for informational purposes only. It is not to be taken or used as a substitute for dental, medical or other professional advice, treatment or diagnosis. Always ask your dentist, physician or other healthcare professional for advice before altering your diet or healthcare routine. Individual patient needs and oral healthcare concerns vary so please consult your dentist for more information about your specific dental health requirements.
Copyright 2021: Dirk A. Thompson Professional Corporation operating as Advance Your Health Dental. Dr. Dirk A. Thompson, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.