Unlike other parts of the body, damaged teeth can’t always be fixed, and that’s why it’s incredibly important to maintain your teeth properly from a young age. Preserving your teeth means being able to enjoy a radiant smile well into old age, but as well as being a big part of our appearance and self-esteem, teeth are also highly functional body parts that we need to chew, bite and speak clearly.
Tooth loss is most commonly linked to disease in the mouth, not the process of aging, so with the current levels of knowledge and widely available information about oral health, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have healthy, strong teeth in old age. If you want to keep your teeth for life, there are some basic dental care tips that must be practiced as much as possible.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, every day, at every age. If you have children, it’s important to instil healthy oral habits by encouraging teeth brushing twice a day as soon as teeth appear.
Flossing is a vital step to avoiding tooth decay and gum disease. Floss at least once a day to remove leftover food that erodes enamel and can lead to cavities.
Smoking cigarettes is a sure-fire way to damage your teeth. It’s common for smokers to experience staining, gum disease, tooth loss and even mouth cancer. If you want to keep your teeth into old age, smoking is absolutely ruled out.
Maybe the worst thing you can do to your teeth is to avoid the dentist. Whether you need treatment or preventative care, regular visits to the dentist put you in good stead to keep your teeth for life.
If any signs of cavities, decay, or gum disease become apparent, get to the dentist to talk about a treatment plan immediately. Putting it off will only make the problem worse and could even result in tooth loss down the line.
Make sure your diet includes plenty of teeth-friendly foods. These include: dairy, seeds, nuts, fish, fibrous vegetables, crunchy fruits, leafy greens, whole grains and fruits rich in vitamin C. Avoid foods high in sugar and acid, which can wear away the enamel coating from the teeth.
Clenching or biting your teeth hard causes trauma and weakness in the teeth. Avoid it where possible, but if this is something you do unconsciously or in your sleep, speak to your dentist for solutions.
Seniors are most likely to get cavities where old fillings have become chipped or damaged. Your dentist can check your fillings to see if they need replacing, and even offer more modern filling solutions such as white composite fillings.
Many seniors suffer through the pain of uncomfortable dentures in silence. Your dentist can check and adjust your dentures to make them fit more comfortably with minimum fuss – there’s no need to put it off.
If you’re due for your twice-a-year dental check-up, call the friendly family dentists at Jannali Dental Care on (02) 9199 7229 to book an appointment.