When it comes to oral care, healthy enamel is essential.
As the hard, outer surface of your tooth, your enamel serves as a shield for all of the delicate tissues, blood vessels, and nerves that live below it. We could go on and on about its importance (and trust us, we will). But to mix things up a bit, we’re going to talk about its importance in a new way...sharing some little-known, fascinating facts about this substance and how to nurture it through the use of hydroxyapatite.
We’ll dive into everything from enamel hardness to color to evolution, we’re confident you’ll learn something new about this unique substance.
1: your enamel is the strongest substance in your body
Not only is enamel stronger than bone, it’s stronger than steel and iron, too.
According to the Mohs Hardness Scale, enamel earns a hardness ranking of 5. For comparison, diamonds (the hardest substance on Earth), have a hardness ranking of 10.
Now, you might be wondering....why is it so common for enamel to wear down and deteriorate if it’s so strong and hard? Well, you have to remember that your enamel is paper thin (as you’ll see in the next fun fact), and it comes in contact with so many hard substances, acids, and more. On top of that, chewing, chomping, and grinding can also wear down your enamel over time. Did you know that your back teeth can exert up to 200 pounds of force when you bite down?
Because of all the wear and tear your enamel is exposed to on a daily basis, it requires a steady supply of replenishing minerals (hello, hydroxyapatite) to stay strong and healthy. Otherwise, decay will occur.
2: your enamel has an average thickness of 2-3 mm
The thickness of your enamel can vary from tooth to tooth, but it’s around 2-3 mm thick on average. Enamel on your back molars tends to be thicker than the rest. Which is good since these teeth can exert a bigger bite force.
Scientists explain that enamel thickness is a trait that distinguishes our (human) genes from the genes of our primate relatives. Enamel thickness allows scientists to explore evolutionary trends and gather data surrounding how different diets can affect your enamel health. They’ve found clear differences in enamel thickness among primates who follow different diets. For example, primate species that ate fruits and leaves (herbivores) had the thinnest enamel while omnivores had thicker enamel.
Now, humans (who have years of evolution under our belts and access to enamel-loving oral care products) have the strongest, thickest enamel of all. Maybe it’s just us, but we feel even more grateful for our strong enamel after learning about how long it’s taken for it to evolve to this point!
3: some enamel is naturally whiter or opaque than others
Enamel thickness and translucency can give off different shades of white...and still be perfectly healthy!
Yep, you heard that right. White teeth are not inherently more healthy than yellower teeth. There’s much more to the enamel story! Your dentin (the bone-like tissue that exists just below the enamel) naturally has a yellowish hue. If you have more translucent enamel (which can still be healthy!), your enamel may appear less white than the next person’s enamel.
Of course, over time, bad oral care habits and enamel wear can darken and damage your teeth. But in general, the whiteness of your enamel does not always indicate whether or not it's healthy.
4: enamel contains no living cells
Your enamel is not alive.
This is an important fact because it means that once your enamel is lost, it cannot grow back. That’s why it’s so important to strengthen and fortify it before it’s completely lost.
How can you strengthen it on a daily basis? You can use nano-hydroxyapatite (n-Ha) on a daily basis. Our sensitive+whitening nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste delivers a daily dose of hydroxyapatite to your enamel. The nanoparticles penetrate your enamel, plugging holes, filling grooves, and repairing scratches on a molecular level.
To add to this, we recommend adding a natural, hydroxyapatite mouthwash to your daily oral care routine for an extra burst of minerals. Prevention is your best bet when it comes to oral care. You want to get ahead of enamel damage before it reaches the point of no return (where fillings, veneers, crowns, etc. come into the picture).
5: your enamel is 96% densely-packed minerals, aka hydroxyapatite
To elaborate on our last point, your enamel is 96-98% densely packed with minerals: calcium and phosphorus. When they bond together, these two minerals create the compound known as hydroxyapatite (our favorite hero substance). The remaining 2-4% of your enamel is organic matter that “holds” the minerals together.
So, your enamel is not only the strongest material in your body, it’s the most mineral dense, too!
It’s the perfect protective surface for all of the vulnerable tissues, blood vessels, and nerves that exist right below it. This protective surface has taken thousands of years to evolve into what it is today, so why not help it maintain its strength through healthy oral care habits?
One of the best things you can do to maintain healthy enamel is to brush with hydroxyapatite toothpaste to remineralize the hydroxyapatite that already exists in 96-98% of this protective layer.
Our third-party lab tests show that our hydroxyapatite toothpaste outperformed leading competitors, filling holes, scrapes, and scratches in the enamel much more effectively than other sensitive toothpastes on the market. Some users experienced tooth sensitivity relief (a sure sign of strengthened enamel) in as little as two weeks.
If you’re looking for a way to give your enamel some daily love, Davids Sensitive+Whitening Nano-Hydroxyapatite is the perfect product to add to your daily oral care routine.