You don’t get a second chance with certain things, and your precious pearly whites are among one of those commodities.
As you age, your teeth become more susceptible to problems. Aging can take a toll on your oral health by leading your way to tooth decay, mouth infections, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Fortunately, you can prevent such dental issues by maintaining good dental care habits. Good oral hygiene practice along with healthy eating habits can keep your smile shining well into your golden years. There are misconceptions that aging comes with a set of ill-fitting dentures and receding gums and there is no way to avoid it.
But the truth is, tooth loss is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Adding more years to your life doesn’t necessarily have to subtract your teeth from your smile. It is possible to keep your mouth healthy by being vigilant about oral hygiene. Here are 10 useful tips to keep your teeth healthy as the years go by.
Ditch Sugar Laden and Acidic Foods
When the chewing of food becomes difficult, older adults usually turn to foods like bread, cookies, and candies that are easier to eat. But such foods are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates which can make their teeth even more susceptible to cavities.
But it’s not just sugar that is bad for your teeth, sticky foods like dried fruit and chewy sweets also contribute toward tooth decay. Such food tends to linger around your teeth and wear away the enamel. Starchy foods like chips and bread get stuck in between your teeth and cause cavities if left unchecked.
Also, citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, and natural juices contain acid which can damage the teeth. So, try to limit such foods and don’t slosh such acidic drinks around in your mouth. To cancel out the acid, drink milk or eat cheese and consume it with the main course to wash the acid away.
Include Enough Calcium to Your Diet
When it comes to decreasing bone loss, calcium works wonder. To keep your teeth healthy as you age, make sure you have enough calcium in your diet.
Milk, cheese, broccoli, and almonds are some of the great sources of calcium, and if you’re dairy intolerant, you can have calcium supplements to keep your levels up.
Keep Up Your Oral Hygiene
As you get older, you start neglecting your oral health, and this can lead to tooth loss and tooth decay. But if you want to keep your smile looking picture perfect even in your golden age, keep up your oral hygiene.
Good continuous oral hygiene is the best way to make sure your smile ages beautifully. Always brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to avoid plaque build-up and gum disease.
Be kind to your teeth and look out for sores, or changes to your oral cavity. Let your dentist know if you notice any changes in your mouth or have any oral health concern.
Ditch Smoking and Tobacco
Do you know smokers are more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers? If you want to preserve your precious teeth, it is time to kick the smoking habit for good.
Unhealthy habits like drinking heavy alcohol, smoking, chewing tobacco can severely hinder your oral health. It can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and even oral cancer. So, it is better to avoid unhealthy habits at all costs to keep your smile safe.
Prevent Plaque Buildup
Plaque is a type of bacteria that can cause swelling and soreness in your gums if left untreated. It can even lead to periodontitis, a severe gum condition and damage the root of your teeth.
So, the best way to avoid plaque buildup in your teeth is to brush twice a day, floss, quit smoking and visit the dentist regularly. Taking good care of your teeth and adopting good oral hygiene can help you keep your teeth healthy for years to come.
Counteract Dry Mouth
As you age, your mouth gets drier, and medications make it even worse. Certain medications cause dry mouth as a side effect. This condition lessens the production of saliva and negatively impacts your teeth.
Saliva is essential not only to keep your mouth moist but also to wash away plaque and food debris. It also neutralizes the cavity-causing acids generated in the mouth after meals and keeps your mouth naturally clean.
Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and counteract the effects of dry mouth.
See Your Dentist
The nerves associated with your teeth become smaller as you age. With a regular dental visit, you will be able to catch such dental issues before it turns into a bigger problem.
Also, make sure your dentist is aware of what medications you’re taking, as it can also affect your dental health in different ways.
Understanding the risk associated with your oral health is vital to stay ahead of dental disease and damage as you age.
Continue following good oral hygiene practice, eat a nutritious diet and find a local dentist to schedule a regular dental checkup. If cared properly, you can keep on smiling for many years to come.
Now that you have some good dental care tips under your sleeve put these tips to practice to keep your teeth healthy and strong for a whole life long.
James is a dentist and a blogger who contribute his knowledge and experience to create oral health awareness. His goal is to offer valuable tips and easily relatable content from personal experiences to help others get good dental health for years to come.