Transparency Is Not a Good Thing for Teeth

When you look at your teeth in the mirror, do the edges appear thin and see-through? This is not a good thing … teeth are supposed to be white and opaque.

What Causes Translucent/Transparent Teeth?

If your teeth appear translucent, the most likely reason is because of enamel erosion. Enamel is the thin, outer covering of the tooth that protects it from chewing and biting, as well as from extreme temperatures and chemicals.

A condition such as Celiac disease or another genetic disorder can cause enamel erosion, but more commonly it is caused by the acid in food or drinks. Acid from conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), morning sickness and bulimia can also be part of the problem.

Prevention

  • While there are some conditions that are out of your control, there are ways to help prevent your teeth from losing enamel.
  • Reduce your consumption of soda and sugary fruit drinks.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugary and starchy foods.
  • If you clench or grind your teeth during sleep, get a dental device to help protect them.
  • Don’t bite on hard objects such as fingernails or pens.
    Use a soft toothbrush and don’t brush teeth too hard or floss improperly.
  • When using teeth whitening products, use them under a dentist’s supervision.
    Finish meals with a glass of milk or piece of cheese to help cancel out acids.
  • Chew sugar-free gum to lower the amount of acid in your mouth and help you make more saliva.
  • Drink more water.
  • Wait an hour to brush if you have eaten acidic foods or drinks. They can soften the enamel and make the teeth more susceptible to damage.

Treatment

Unfortunately, once enamel is gone, it can’t regrow. If your teeth have transparency, consult with your dentist quickly before you have more severe enamel loss.

There are several ways your Enlighten Dental Care dentist can treat enamel loss and tooth transparency:

  • Dental bonding, which involves applying a composite resin to your teeth, can help with minor enamel erosion.
  • Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth.
  • Crowns may also be suggested as a way to protect a tooth from any further damage. They are best used with teeth that are cracked or have excessive wear.

If you have questions about your child’s dental health, please contact Enlighten Dental Care at (336) 765-0904.

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