Getting older doesn’t mean you will need to say goodbye to your teeth. With daily care and a good dose of TLC, your teeth can serve you a lifetime, especially if you have routine dental exams and pursue restorative dental procedures to keep your teeth healthy.
What Is the Truth About Aging Teeth?
As we age it is harder for us to personally detect changes in the condition of teeth because the nerves that transmit pain or discomfort are becoming smaller.
This is why regular dental exams and cleanings are important so that cavities and other dental issues can be addressed early on before they become too serious. If left untreated, cavities can lead to a root canal, crown, or possibly an implant later on, which can be very costly and jeopardize the condition of the tooth structure.
How Do You Know Your Teeth Are Aging?
As we age, conditions such as teeth grinding due to stress can cause damage to teeth. Over time, grinding your jaw can cause worn, flattened, fractured or chipped teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, and worn tooth enamel.
Although not necessarily a sign of aging teeth, gum health can decrease over time without routine care causing soreness, swelling, bleeding, gums that recede, loose teeth, and bad breath. It can also cause infections that damage the bone underneath and eventual tooth loss.
How To Maintain the Health of Your Teeth Over Time
The best way to ensure healthy teeth over time is preventative care. Taking the right steps every day to keep your teeth and gums healthy will serve your dental health well into the future.
- Practice Good Dental Hygiene Habits. Everyday dental care habits make a difference over time. Brush twice daily and floss every day. Use an electric toothbrush since most of us don’t brush effectively. Make sure to see your dentist regularly for checkups and follow up with recommended restorative care.
- Protect Enamel Health. Enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth that protects is from most of the wear and tear we put our teeth through on a daily basis. Although you can’t replace enamel without having it restored by a dentist, you can avoid chewing hard items such as ice or popcorn kernels to avoid chipping or fracturing your teeth. A night guard is also recommended for people who grind their teeth while they sleep.
- Maintain Gum Health. The gums are what hold our teeth in place. Healthy gums require removing bacteria and plaque that forms on teeth through routine cleaning. If not removed, gum disease and periodontitis can form leading to chances of tooth loss.
- Drink Water. Saliva is a natural protector against tooth decay but if you are taking certain medications, your mouth might dry out. To battle against dry mouth, drink lots of water. You might consider drinking tap water as well for an extra dose of fluoride.