As we age, daily wear and tear takes its toll on our teeth. But there are many things you can do to keep them nice and in good shape. Follow these rules and you’ll have plenty of reasons to smile every time you blow out the birthday candles on your cake.
Reduces wear and tear
Your teeth are very strong. However, they can wear down. All that chewing, grinding and biting wears down the enamel, that hard, outer layer of your teeth. It also flattens the pieces you use when biting and chewing.
You can’t erase a lifetime of wear and tear without having it restored by a dentist, but you can prevent it from getting worse. Don’t chew hard foods. That can lead to cracks in the enamel and even breakage of the teeth.
Teeth can also be worn down by malocclusion, which may require orthodontic work, and by nighttime grinding (bruxism), which may require the use of a bite guard. If you suspect you clench your mouth at night, talk to your dentist.
Keep your gums healthy
If you do not brush your teeth properly, plaque will be deposited on them and can cause pain, inflammation and bleeding gums.
See your dentist annually so he or she can check your gums and anticipate periodontal disease.
The signs of gum disease usually look like this, so make an appointment if you have any of them:
- Bleeding when brushing your teeth.
- Receding gums
- Teeth with mobility
- Bad breath
The best way to keep your gums in good condition is to take care of your teeth. Brush twice a day and floss every day just before brushing. See your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. If you smoke, we invite you to quit, your body and your oral health will thank you.
Don’t let your mouth go dry
Saliva helps clean your teeth and protects your mouth from cavities. But as you get older, your mouth becomes drier and your chances of getting cavities increase. The source of dry mouth can also be caused by certain medications. To combat it, drink more water. Hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. There are also mouthwashes and toothpastes specifically for xerostomia.
Beware of acid
Carbonated beverages and citrus fruits and juices contain acid and can wear down tooth enamel.