As you age, you may find that it becomes more difficult to keep your teeth healthy and strong. For most people, proper dental care means visits to the dentist every six months, but it’s also important to incorporate some habits into your daily routine to help you maintain good oral health. Follow these tips on keeping healthy teeth as you age to prevent cavities and gum disease from getting the best of your smile over time.
Eat for Healthy Teeth
Your diet has a significant impact on your teeth. Certain foods, including nuts, beans, and leafy greens, are great for oral health. That’s because they contain calcium and vitamin C, which strengthen tooth enamel. While you can’t completely offset your genetic disposition to tooth decay or gum disease with diet alone, you can help reduce your risk of developing these diseases by following a few healthy habits. There’s no magic food that can keep your teeth healthy as you age if genetics work against you — but there is hope! Diet plays a vital role in keeping our mouths healthy, so it’s never too early to start thinking about what we’re eating every day – even if we don’t want to admit it.
Dry Mouth as You Age
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is something many adults suffer from as they age. Dry mouth is often caused by hormonal changes that occur naturally during menopause or after surgery to remove all or part of your salivary glands. Although dry mouth is most common in older adults, it can also occur due to radiation treatments for head and neck cancers, medications you are taking, certain diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome or diabetes. Symptoms of dry mouth include increased thirst and frequent urination. You may have a sticky sensation in your mouth or bad breath because bacteria grow more efficiently in a dry environment.
Brushing and Flossing Can Prevent Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
At first glance, oral health may seem like a relatively simple aspect of overall health. However, poor oral hygiene can lead to various other conditions, including serious ones such as gingivitis and oral cancer. Early detection and prevention are vital parts of maintaining good oral health as you age. Here are some things you can do to maintain healthy teeth as you age:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to prevent decay from sugars in food and drinks.
- Eat a nutritious diet full of fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables to keep your teeth clean between brushings.
- Visit your dentist regularly for regular cleanings and checkups so that any problems can be detected early on before they develop into significant issues.
Deal with Staining
The most common form of dental staining is caused by certain foods, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. Even though it can be tough to give up your morning cup of joe, you should consider it for the sake of your teeth. The good news is that if you have stains from beverages, there are ways to remove them! Just remember that no one-trick works on all kinds of stains. Your dentist will work with you on stain removal techniques that are unique to your situation.
Schedule Routine Dental Checkups
Dentists can identify common oral health problems at checkups before they become significant issues. If you haven’t seen a dentist in several years, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Having dental work done once you start getting older is more complicated than when you were younger, so pay attention to what your dentist tells you. Ask them questions about how your personal care habits might affect your oral health and if things make your teeth more susceptible to problems like plaque buildup or tooth decay.