Keeping Your Teeth as You Age
Many people assume that as you age, you naturally lose your teeth. The truth of the matter is that your teeth can last you an entire lifetime if you take the right steps.
At home, it is important that you regularly brush and floss your teeth. You should brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss at least one time a day. Just as important as remembering to brush and floss is doing them both correctly. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. It is wise to avoid whitening toothpastes, as they contain abrasives that wear enamel away over time. Make sure you hold your toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle and gently brush each surface of your teeth with a short, circular motion. Avoid brushing too hard, as it can be destructive to your teeth and gums. When flossing, make sure to only use up-and-down motions, as opposed to harmful sawing motions. If desired, use an electric toothbrush instead. Electric toothbrushes can ensure that you are using the right technique for the proper duration of time. And if you grind or clench your teeth at night, make sure you wear a mouth guard. Over time, bruxism can lead to bone loss, gum recession, and tooth loss.
Perhaps the most important element for keeping your teeth as you age is selecting the right dentist. You should visit your dentist for a professional exam and cleaning every six months. They will be able to remove plaque and tartar from areas of your mouth that are hard to reach with a brush and floss alone. Dentists will also check your mouth for any issues before they become serious problems. Have them check your restorations and screen your mouth for oral cancer and other diseases. Try to find a dentist who has a conservative approach, opting to remineralize small cavities, as opposed to immediately going for the drill. Also be aware that if you do lose any of your natural teeth, dental implants are always going to be your best tooth replacement option.
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