Have you been told that you should expect to lose your teeth as you age? Luckily, this isn’t completely accurate. In fact, would you be interested in learning that your teeth won’t actually weaken on their own? Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
For example, did you know that grinding your teeth or chewing on objects you shouldn’t chew on—such as pens, ice, and pencils—could weaken your teeth? Unfortunately, doing any of these things could weaken your enamel, which might leave you more susceptible to tooth loss. Teeth aren’t tools and shouldn’t be used as tools. Opening a bottle with your teeth for instance? Not a great idea.
Following a poor diet can also weaken your enamel. Foods that have high amounts of sugar, acid, or carbohydrates can create cavities that break down the enamel of your teeth. If you are going to food or drink things that contain these items, eat them quickly and don’t snack throughout the day. Keeping your teeth healthy is more a function of how often they are contact with sugars and acids than how much you are consuming. It is also a good practice to rinse your mouth out with water after eating these foods. You’ll want to avoid brushing for at least 30 minutes after acid exposure (lemons, soft drinks, etc) because the acid weakens your enamel and you can actually brush some of it away.
It’s also important that you stay hydrated. Did you know that you’ll be much more likely to be dehydrated as you get older? Many medications can actually lead to a condition called dry mouth. These are fairly serious issues because dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.If you have dry mouth, make sure you drink water consistently and pay extra special attention to your diet. Also ask us at the office what we can do to help. There are a variety of different products and prescriptions that can help. If started early, you can avoid a lot of problems. Prevention is a lot easier than fixing problems after they have occurred.
Furthermore, if gum disease isn’t addressed, the tissue and bone that keep your teeth in place may be damaged, making you much more likely to lose a tooth. You can usually prevent gum disease—and several other problems—if you brush and floss your teeth daily.
Of course, other issues—such as illnesses and trauma—could eventually lead to tooth loss. If you’re interested in hearing more about caring for your teeth in Greer, South Carolina, please feel free to give Twin Falls Family Dentistry a call at 864-663-5019. Our dentist, Dr. Peter McPherson, will be happy to assess your teeth and offer you personalized advice.