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Caring for Your Teeth as You Get Older – 6 Tips for Maintaining Dental Hygiene as You Age

Caring for Your Teeth as You Get Older: 6 Tips for Maintaining Dental Hygiene as You Age. Enjoy my tips on getting the most of dental health.

Caring for Your Teeth as You Get Older – 6 Tips for Maintaining Dental Hygiene as You Age

Growing older is one of the immutable facts of life. As you age, your body changes in many ways, but one area that can deteriorate quickly without adequate care is dental health. As the years progress, the everyday wear and tear your teeth experience throughout your life begins to accumulate, contributing to problems later in life. There are steps that you can take to preserve your dental hygiene well into your later years. Consider these steps to maintain a stunning smile as the years pass. 

Minimize Wear and Tear

Your teeth are incredibly strong and resilient to wear. However, they gradually get worn down throughout the years. Despite their robustness, all of the chewing, grinding and biting you do every day of your life amasses and can contribute to enamel erosion. Additionally, the surface of teeth can flatten as you age due to the constant strain you place on your teeth. 

While you cannot erase the years of wear and tear your teeth have experienced, you can prevent it from getting worse as you age. To do this, you should avoid chewing on things like ice or other hard foods, as these can cause the enamel on the surface of your teeth to chip and even break entirely. 

Additionally, if your bite is improperly aligned, you might experience more dental wear than you might otherwise. This could require some degree of orthodontic intervention like braces or a retainer. Bruxism (grinding teeth) is also a significant contributing factor to dental wear. To counteract this, you might need to wear a nightguard as you sleep.

Ultimately, if you are worried about your teeth’ general wear and tear, you should consult your dentist. They will assess the damage at present and refer you for orthodontic treatment or tooth reconstruction procedures if necessary. A dentist in Brisbane that provides such services is puredentistry.com.au. 

Look After Your Gums

Bacteria are constantly growing on your teeth and gums. If not removed, this forms plaque that can cause redness, swelling, soreness, and bleeding from the gums. In addition, this plaque can lead to infections and harm the bones beneath your gums if it gets bad enough. Let your dentist know if you have bleeding gums when brushing your teeth because bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease.

This is known as gum disease or periodontitis, and if it goes untreated, it can cause significant problems later down the line. It can damage your teeth and bones, lead to receding gums, and you might even need to have teeth removed if it is severe. Also, read about Pericoronal Inflammation, a dental abscess caused by the activity of the bacteria in the mouth.

If you are concerned about gum disease, you should look out for symptoms like bleeding when you brush or floss, receding gums, wobbly teeth and bad breath. However, it is relatively easy to avoid gum disease. The best way to preserve your gums is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once every day. Smoking can exacerbate the symptoms associated with gum disease, so you should also quit if you smoke tobacco. Finally, scheduling regular, routine check-ups with your dentist will help you catch signs of gum disease early and treat them accordingly. 

Stay Hydrated

Saliva plays a critical role in preserving your teeth and staving off tooth decay. It helps keep your mouth clean and prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria on your teeth and gums. However, it is a common phenomenon for peoples’ mouths to dry out as they age. This could be down to medication which can sometimes lead to dehydration, but people not drinking enough water is also prevalent. 

Therefore, to preserve your dental hygiene as you grow older, you should take steps to avoid having an excessively dry mouth. You should make a conscious effort to consume more water and, as you are drinking it, you should hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. Additionally, something like sugar-free gum can be a valuable tool for stimulating saliva production. 

Look Out for Tooth Sensitivity

Many people overlook tooth sensitivity as a fact of life that cannot be treated. As a result, people often fail to acknowledge the underlying issues that can contribute to sensitive teeth. Your teeth can become sensitive for various reasons, but it can often be caused by worn enamel, gum disease or tooth decay. Therefore, if you experience pain or discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold things, or even when you brush, you should go and see your dentist, Dr Ellie says.  

Once again, developing an effective dental care routine is your best bet for preventing tooth sensitivity in the future. Make sure your brush and floss every day and schedule routine appointments with a dental health specialist. If your teeth are already sensitive, ask your dentist about special toothpaste or other treatment options to reduce the discomfort. 

Acid is the Enemy 

Acidic food and drinks like fizzy drinks, citrus fruit and fruit juices all contain high acid concentrations. Additionally, if you eat too many sugary or starchy foods, bacteria will produce acid in your mouth. The bacteria metabolize the sugars and starch and release acids as by-products. Overall, this can exacerbate enamel erosion and even tooth decay.

Overall, the best way to prevent this is to avoid acidic food and beverages as much as possible. If you happen to enjoy a fizzy drink, you should try not to swill it around your mouth but swallow it as quickly as possible. Additionally, following up on sugary or acidic food with milk or cheese might help balance the acidity in your mouth. Finally, try to eat sugary and starchy foods as part of a meal rather than as snacks. Your mouth makes the most saliva when eating a meal, which can help wash away the acids produced in your mouth. 

Beware of Cancer

As you get older, your chances of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, tongue or lips increases. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing tumors. The best things you can do are stop smoking and avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Additionally, you can wear lip balms that contain UV protection whenever you’re outside to minimize the risk of lip cancer. 

Such cancers are often overlooked in the early stages, as pain is not a common symptom early on but becomes an issue as the disease progresses. Therefore, you should try to maintain a routine of regular check-ups with your dentist. This will allow them to look for any problems and provide treatment early on. If you are concerned about cancers, early warning signs can be sores, red or white areas in the mouth or any changes you have noticed that last more than a few weeks. 

Conclusion

In summary, you will undoubtedly encounter dental issues as you age. These can range from problems such as erosion due to everyday wear and tear to cancer. However, by taking action to preserve your dental hygiene, you can minimize the risks of developing severe tooth problems. Ultimately, the best things you can do for your teeth are to brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist for routine check-ups, avoid smoking and limit your intake of sugary or acidic foods. While these may not guarantee the absence of dental issues, they provide the best chance of preserving your smile into your later years. 

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