I know you are asking what does this mean? The first stop in digestion is the mouth; the teeth do the grinding and chewing of food so that saliva can begin the breaking down of food for use by the body. The muscles of mastication (chewing) are very strong which puts lots of force behind the teeth so they can do a great job of breaking down food. So…what can we do to ensure that our teeth are strong enough to continue to do a good job? First, destroy harmful bacteria by brushing and flossing each day. Bacteria needs to be broken up at least once every 24 hours to keep them from working together to damage teeth. Much of the bacteria in the oral cavity has a byproduct of acids that can erode the enamel. Enamel protects the tooth from decay and needs to remain strong.
- Side note: brushing and flossing should be accomplished by gentle cleaning…NO SCRUBBING!!
Second, manage stress! Stress can manifest itself by clinching and grinding teeth either during the day or at night. Because the muscles that control the mandible are so strong they can exert a huge force strong enough to crack or grind away enamel which exposes the softer dentin to decay. Third, schedule regular checkups with the dentist to ensure that your teeth are strong. These visits allow the dentist to repair any areas on the teeth that are damaged by decay, clinching or grinding. There are other factors that need to be considered to maintain strong teeth that will be covered in future blogs. So, brush and floss only the teeth that you wish to keep!!