Lesson From Tooth Enamel


An article published in March of 2017 in the nature – international weekly journal of science (543, 95-98: 2017), it has been shown that artificial enamel is the best material to survive repeated shocks. Repeated vibrations and shocks cause rigid structures to crack. Most materials that are designed to withstand repeated shocks are soft and so they do not make good structural material. Enamel, which form the outermost layer of our teeth (see diagram), and is the hardest material in the body can withstand hundreds or thousands of shocks per day while chewing, day after day, year after year. Artificial enamel similar to natural enamel can now be made, making a new material to create really, really durable materials in the future a probability.

Despite the rugged nature of tooth enamel and its ability to survive incredible abuse over a very long period of time, it will dissolve away with even mild acid attacks over a period of time, thus we have tooth decay. As the bacteria that promote decay consume the same sugars you do while eating, acid is produced and, over time, destroy the strongest material in humans and is just now being able to be replicated in a laboratory.