With all the things that our teeth are required to do, they are remarkably durable. But according to dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych, everyday wear and tear as a natural part of the aging process can take its toll on them. So this week I want to share some tips for keeping them strong and beautiful for a lifetime.
Identify the threats. The biggest threat to your teeth are starchy and sugar-laden foods because they cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids that eat away at your teeth’s enamel. Control your intake of carbonated soft drinks/sports drinks and brush your teeth at least twice a day to combat this effect. If you crave something sweet, your dentist Columbia suggests chewing sugarless gum.
Counteract wear and tear. The main role of our teeth is to break down food to prepare it for digestion. Many people erroneously assume that teeth become more fragile as they age. That is not the case, but people often chip their teeth by biting something that is too hard.
Another condition that results in wear and tear is the grinding or clenching of teeth that is frequently connected to stress or anxiety. Your dentist Columbia warns that over time, this grinding can weaken the biting surfaces of your teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.
Prevent stains. Certain foods and smoking are the two biggest contributors to yellowed or discolored teeth. Stains form where there is plaque, so it’s important to remove them as part of your regular checkup. Try to avoid foods that stain your teeth and have your teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months.
Avert gum disease. The largest threat to healthy teeth is gum disease, and the risk of gum problems increases with age, especially at the gum line where bacteria develops. If not treated, bacterial infections can lead to inflammation, which injures connective tissue and bone, often resulting in tooth loss. To prevent this, brush and floss regularly and use an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse.
Put a stop to dry mouth. Saliva helps clean the teeth and counteract acids that eat away at the enamel. And while saliva flow doesn’t decrease with age, there are hundreds of medications – many of which are taken as we age - that cause dry mouth. Try chewing gum to stimulate saliva flow.
Time for your next appointment? Don’t wait – call the office of dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych today to schedule your next appointment while it’s still fresh on your mind!