[caption id="attachment_850" align="aligncenter" width="500"] When is it time to drop everything and get help?[/caption] Tooth pain can be a real...well...pain. But sometimes it’s hard to know whether your discomfort is...
Aging doesn’t have to mean the loss of your smile. While tooth loss is still a problem for adults of all ages, its rates are falling – and it doesn’t have to claim your pearly whites. Taking daily steps toward healthy teeth will make a difference. Be sure to adopt our tips below, and schedule exams twice annually. Checking in with us is the best way to prevent small problems from quietly growing – and leading to big consequences like tooth loss.
Home Care for Lifelong Teeth
- Effective brushing and flossing – If you’re just giving a half-hearted swipe with your toothbrush and skipping floss altogether, that’s not going to get the job done. Make sure you’re brushing at least 2x daily, at least 2 minutes each time. And floss regularly to help prevent gingivitis, which can lead to gum disease, which is the top cause of tooth loss.
- Protection from grinding – Bruxism is a common problem that affects countless adults. Since one of the most common causes is stress, that leads to grinding being a fairly universal problem – at least at one point in our lives or another. If you’re dealing with chronic clenching and grinding, get a custom mouth guard. This will protect your teeth and prevent advanced erosion, gum recession, and sensitivity.
- Vigilance – If something seems wrong to you, you’re probably right. Nobody knows your teeth and gums better than you do. Symptoms of gingivitis are especially big warning signs – react quickly! The earlier you treat inflamed gums, the simpler the process.
- Nutritious and varied diet – Your teeth (and body) need a broad range of nutrients to thrive. If you’re struggling to chew fresh fruit and vegetables as you age, make sure you’re getting those vitamins elsewhere.
- No tobacco – While it harms your entire body, smoking is particularly problematic for your gums. Tobacco use weakens your mouth’s defense systems and heightens the likelihood of gingivitis. It also yellows your teeth and increases plaque buildup.
- Check on medication side effects – Most of us start tarking new medications as we age. While these might be effective in treating heart disease or other conditions, they can also be dangerous to teeth. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. This creates a dangerous environment in your mouth. Acids aren’t washed away by saliva, and can erode your enamel. Make sure to take note of whether you’re experiencing dry mouth, and let us know when you start a new medication. If you’re hoping to quit smoking, start with online resources.