The Hardest Substances in the World and How They Compare to the Enamel on Your TeethJul 22 2014

enamel on your teethTooth enamel is tough, there’s no doubt about it. We expect our teeth to take daily beatings during meals and to retain their strength and durability throughout our lives. Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in our bodies, it’s far from superior compared to other strong substances in the world. The Mohs scale ranks minerals, rocks, and substances on a scale from 0-10 in order of hardness. At the bottom of the scale you’ll find a super soft, malleable metal called cesium that melts at just 82 degrees Fahrenheit. As you search up the scale you find lead, calcium, magnesium, gold, silver, aluminum, copper, iron, nickel, platinum, steel, and then tooth enamel. Tooth enamel, scientifically labeled apatite, is actually equal to obsidian, or volcanic glass. Can you believe that your teeth are stronger than your gold wedding band? However, that’s just the middle of the road. Even stronger, in order of hardness, are quartz, tungsten, cubic zirconia, and a lot of materials that are hard to pronounce, much less recognize. With an even score of 10, the diamond reigns supreme. Don’t stop there, though! Contrary to popular belief there is a stronger substance than a diamond: nanocrystalline diamond, or a hyperdiamond. Our teeth are incredibly strong but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t subject to wear. Steel, which is undoubtedly strong, is only slightly higher on the Mohs scale than our teeth and can still be bent and destroyed. So take care of your enamel and it will take care of you!

Request Appointment