As we age, it becomes more and more important to take care of our bodies, and it’s also important to take preventative measures to help negate some of the years of wear and tear that our bodies endure at our behest. Preventing various ailments, diseases, and conditions by making smart and proactive decisions now is the best way to guarantee a healthy, happy future.
This is especially true for dental hygiene and tooth care. Learning to take care of your teeth and developing strong hygienic habits earlier on in life will help make sure that you don’t end up having to suffer through painful treatments and surgeries later down the road. So in order to help you begin cultivating these habits now, here are 6 useful tips for hanging on to those pearly-whites down the line.
6 Ways to Preserve Your Teeth as You Age:
- Educate yourself about modern dental care
It is important to maintain regular dental visits so that you can stay ahead of the game and so that your dentist can detect and restore any cavities or decay before it spreads. Fillings and crowns should be either replaced or thoroughly inspected continuously to ensure that the tooth underneath them is still healthy. Fluoride applications can also be very helpful in promoting enamel preservation and in high doses can even recalcify small areas of acid damage. The longer that prior dental restorations go unchecked, the more problems you are bound to run into.
- Find the dental regimen that is right for you
Today there seems to be an endless supply of new and improved dental care products at every drug and grocery store across the nation. Finding the right products that fit your particular needs can be daunting, but honing in on a structured regimen specifically developed for your needs is a crucial component of maintaining a healthy smile. Consult with your dentist on which products might work best for you and what aspects of dental hygiene are most important for you to focus on. There are many excellent products available that are prescription strength and that can only be dispensed by a dentist.
- Use an electric toothbrush
Perhaps the greatest advancement of home dental care in the last half-century, the electronic toothbrush is an indispensable tool in combating the scourge of tooth decay, cavities, and poor dental hygiene. The vast majority of people do not brush their teeth in the correct manner, and even less actually brush for the recommended two minutes twice per day. An electronic toothbrush solves both of these problems, due to the fact that they have built in timers and ability to reach places that traditional brushes are just simply unable to such as between teeth and under the gums. Ask your dentist at your next visit about joining the electric brush revolution.
- Know what foods to avoid
Eating right is an essential part of maintaining one’s dental hygiene. As we age it becomes increasingly important to adhere to a diet that will help prevent serious ailments and conditions in the future. In terms of your mouth, this means identifying which foods and drinks are most likely to cause problems, and then trying to avoid them. While we all know that high sugar foods directly contribute to tooth decay, it is good to note that there are also certain highly acidic foods that have pH levels that can rival battery acid (Read the label on your favorite bottle of diet soda. Chances are it says “sulfuric acid”. That’s in your car’s battery!). Sometimes, sour can be just as bad as sweet.
- If your clench or grind, wear a night guard
People who grind their teeth at night can lose up to a millimeter of tooth material per year if this subconscious habit is left unaddressed. Those who clench their teeth while they sleep can also irritate the supporting bone and soft tissue around the teeth leading to bone loss, gum recession, and eventually tooth loss. So while wearing a night guard for the rest of your life may not seem like the most attractive concept, it is certainly more attractive than having missing teeth.
- Find and choose the right dentist
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is imperative that you find a well-trained, professional dentist that is able to meet your dental needs. This can sometimes be much easier said than done, as there are unfortunately some practices of deservedly ill repute out there in the world. However, finding a dentist that is up to date on all the current research, that employs state-of-the-art technology, and that genuinely has a vested interest in looking after your well being, is the best thing that you can do for your dental hygiene.