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Enamel is kind of like an eggshell. It protects the soft part of the tooth inside. Unlike an egg’s outer layer, it’s tough. It’s the hardest substance in your body. With some luck and good dental care, it can withstand decades of biting, chewing and crunching.
After you eat, bacteria in your mouth feast on sugars from sweet foods and starches. This makes acids that can destroy enamel. The green rods in this slide are bacteria that cause mild gum disease, also called gingivitis. Acids in sodas, juices, and drinks are harmful, too. Some are harsher than battery acid. Over time, they cause erosion. That shrinks the tooth.