As you age, your body changes. You may feel more tired, have more grey hair, or not be able to eat all of your favorite foods because of medications you take or dietary restrictions. While you may not be able to prevent all of these signs of aging, you can take steps to protect your teeth as you get older. This can help you to keep all of your natural teeth, avoid dentures, reduce your risk of periodontal disease, and encourage a youthful smile. Here are some of the ways you can protect your teeth as you age.
Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco are bad for your health. Not only do these habits make you more susceptible to lung cancer, oral cancer, and chronic health conditions, tobacco products stain your teeth yellow. They can also create dry mouth, which makes tooth decay more likely. Some people think that vaping is a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. However, there is not enough scientific research available that supports this idea. Early research suggests that some of the ingredients used in vaping are carcinogenic or cancer causing.
Limit Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, chewing on ice, and gnawing on pencils are all ways to wear down your teeth faster than normal. Once you’ve worn down your teeth, the enamel cannot be replaced. You could end up with shorter teeth that look older than your true age. If you simply like to chew ice, try to nix the habit. If you feel compelled to chew ice, be sure that there isn’t an underlying health cause, such as iron deficiency. Talk to your dentist about ways to reduce teeth grinding, such as wearing a nightguard.
Take Care of Issues Early
The sooner you take care of a dental health issue, such as a cavity or an infection, the better. Otherwise, small issues can turn into much bigger problem that requires more expensive and invasive procedures to correct. In the case of a cavity, you’ll be better off having it filled than eventually needing a root canal or dental implant. If a small infection turns into an abscess, you’ll have a lot of gum pain. Even addressing periodontal disease early can ward off tooth loss.
Find a Trustworthy Dentist
One of the most effective ways to protect your teeth as you age is to find a dentist that you can trust. By going to the same dental provider over the years, they will be able to document the condition of your teeth and help you keep your teeth healthy as you age. They will also remind you to schedule regular dental cleanings.
Making an appointment with your dentist can help protect your teeth as you get older. It’s also just a smart idea for better oral health, no matter your age. If you’d like to schedule a dentist appointment with a trustworthy dental provider, contact Dental Associates, LLP, at (860) 677-8666 to speak with a member of our team.