We want to help you keep your teeth for life. Essential to that goal is maintaining healthy enamel, the hard outer covering that guards your teeth from bacteria and other harmful influences. Strong enamel leads to healthy and protected teeth.

Here are a few tips the Advanced team suggests to protect and strengthen your enamel:

1. Easy on the sugar

Sugar from food and drink work with bacteria in your mouth to create acids that soften and eat away at your enamel. Soda is a major culprit in enamel degradation, so it’s important to limit your intake. If you must drink soda, brands with artificial sweeteners tend to cause less acidity and will do less damage.

2. Drink water after citrus fruits

Fruits like oranges and grapefruits might be packed with healthy vitamins, but they are also highly acidic. No need to skip out on a juicy, vitamin-C loaded orange, just add water when you’re finished. Following up acidic fruits with a glass of water will minimize the impact on your enamel.

3. Chew sugar-free gum

Skip the gum with sugar for the same reason you need to limit sugar intake. However, chewing sugarless gum will not only keep the acid away, but also increase the flow of calcium and phosphate rich saliva to strengthen your enamel. Research shows that chewing sugarless gum following meals can actually help prevent tooth decay.

4. Drink milk

Milk and other dairy products with calcium will strengthen both your bones and enamel. Cheese not only contains calcium and phosphate to fortify enamel, but it also increases saliva production to help flush away acid remaining on your teeth.

5. Be careful how you brush

Harsh brushing can erode enamel. Scrubbing lightly while using a soft-bristled brush at a forty-five degree angle to your gums will make brushing effective and safe for your enamel. Adding flossing and a fluoride mouthwash to your daily oral care habits will also protect your enamel.

Finally, make sure you visit the Advanced team every six months. Regular professional cleanings will help ensure your enamel remains strong, healthy and fit for life.