Did You Know: Tooth Enamel Is Harder Than Gold

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Most people already know that our teeth have a protective layer known as enamel. However, it is not common knowledge of what tooth enamel is made of and how strong it is. Your dentist Houston TX will tell you that 95 percent of tooth enamel consists of minerals, primarily calcium phosphate. The high level of minerals found in the tooth enamel gives it its hardness and brittleness.

Just how hard is tooth enamel? It is, in fact, the human body’s hardest substance. Using the scale of mineral hardness developed by German mineralogist Frederich Mohs in 1812, tooth enamel ranked 5 out of the 1-10 values. Diamonds ranked 10 (hardest) and plaster of Paris ranked only 2 on the Moh’s scale.

Tooth enamel was also found to be harder than limestone and most shells containing calcite. It was also harder than gold, silver, copper pennies, platinum, and even iron, according to the Moh’s scale. Apparently, dentists of Houston weren’t joking when they say if you would only take care of your teeth properly, it should last you a lifetime.

So, why doesn’t it last a lifetime for many people? It is inevitable for enamel to suffer some wear from chewing and bruxism or grinding of teeth against teeth. However, enamel suffers the most damage as a result of bacterial activity that breaks it down. The deterioration happens in overtime with poor oral hygiene.

So, it’s not like you drink too much soda today and tomorrow you will have a hole in your tooth because you forgot to brush your teeth. But if this becomes a habit, then sooner or later, the enamel will weaken. It will be harder for enamel erosion to happen if its natural strength is maintained with proper dental care, which includes regular brushing and flossing. Regular visits to your dentist Houston Texas is also essential in maintaining good dental health.

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