Does the aging process have to claim your smile? With the advances of modern dentistry and home hygiene products, tooth loss is no longer a certainty. But it is still a significant problem for older adults. How can you make sure that your own teeth are protected? Taking small, daily steps will add up to a lifelong grin.
Daily Steps That Fight Tooth Loss
- Floss – So many of us are guilty of skipping the floss. It feels like an extra, unnecessary step that just takes up additional time – shouldn’t careful brushing get in the job done? The problem here is that brushing can’t access the tight areas between your teeth, and may leave plaque behind (no matter how careful you are with your technique). Flossing also strengthens the gums, which helps prevent the onset of gingivitis. If your gums are bloody or sore when you first start flossing, keep going – this will fade within a week of consistent flossing.
- Schedule regular exams – We need to key an eye on your teeth and gums, and we just can’t do that if you don’t visit the office regularly. By scheduling an exam every six months (or more often, if your dentist recommends it), you get the best chance of avoiding serious and irreversible problems that could lead to tooth loss.
- Pay attention to your teeth – When something seems wrong, it’s worth it to have your dental care provider take a look. React to changing teeth or gums ASAP!
- Wear a night guard – Grinding is a big problem, but it affects countless adults. Since it tends to happen when we’re stressed, grinding can aggravate an already troubled mind and body. Chronic bruxism will wear down your teeth, break dental work, and weaken your enamel. If you continue grinding for years, you may end up noticing your teeth disappearing before your eyes. Instead of succumbing to bruxism, get a custom mouth guard to wear while sleeping.
- Get a well-rounded diet – You need to consume a variety of nutrients in order for your teeth (and body) to thrive. Be sure that your diet takes a broad spectrum of foods into account.
- Don’t smoke – You know that smoking is no good, but it plays a special role in gum disease risk. Tobacco weakens the defense systems in your mouth, and makes it more likely for you to experience gingivitis. Smoking also yellows your teeth and encourages plaque and tartar buildup. If you’re ready to think about giving up tobacco, find free quitting resources online.
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