As you age, it is only natural to start wondering whether you will be able to keep your teeth in the years ahead. You may also be curious if there is anything special you need to do for your teeth. Fortunately, dental technology has evolved rapidly, allowing people to hold onto their teeth for longer than ever before. Here are 4 tips to protect your teeth as you get older.
There are innumerable ways to protect your teeth, so it is smart to make sure you know the latest solutions. For example, you might need recalcification, which rebuilds tooth enamel using a strong fluoride paste. You might want to replace a worn dental bridge or switch your old metal fillings for tooth-colored composites that are chemically bonded to your teeth.
Oral hygiene recommendations also change periodically. Schedule an appointment to talk to your dentist or hygienist about the latest recommendations for preserving your smile.
Consider an Electric Toothbrush
Research shows that most people have trouble properly brushing their teeth with a manual toothbrush, and these problems are compounded by arthritis and other common issues associated with aging. You should brush for a full two minutes, spending 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth, yet most people are notoriously bad at estimating time. You may also have trouble fully cleaning around your hard to reach back teeth.
Consider switching to an electric toothbrush. With a wide, easy to grip handle and a head that spins faster than any human can brush, an electric toothbrush lets you effortlessly clean all your teeth. Choose a model with a built-in timer that beeps every 30 seconds to let you know it is time to change quadrants.
Ask About a Night Guard
Tooth grinding is incredibly common, but it can wear away a millimeter of tooth structure every year. Clenching your teeth can damage the bone that supports them. A small, comfortable night guard can prevent the issues brought on by grinding or clenching.
Learn Your Dental Weaknesses
Store shelves are filled with every imaginable type of oral care product, from toothpaste for sensitive teeth to medicated mouthwashes. Yet haphazardly grabbing products is a waste of money and does little to protect your teeth.
Dental weaknesses fall into four basic types: gum disease, frequent cavities, easily stained teeth, and sensitive teeth. Ask your dentist what your dental weaknesses are, and then select products designed to fight your specific issues.