It’s easier to take care of your teeth when you’re younger, but as you age, you can still do plenty of things to keep them in good shape and keep your smile healthy. We sat down with our dentist, and he shared five must-dos to maintain healthy aging teeth. Follow these tips to help ward off tooth decay and gum disease.
Visit the Dentist
When people don’t have time to visit the dentist, they avoid it as long as possible. There are some reasons why people avoid the dentist, including fear of needles and anxiety over any given procedure. However, the best way to remain healthy and keep your teeth for many years is by visiting your local dentist regularly. When you go in for a checkup every six months or so, you’ll be able to catch any issues before they become too severe and hard to manage. If you notice any signs of something wrong with your teeth, such as inflammation or sensitivity issues, ask about treatment options that can alleviate symptoms and make a living with older teeth easier.
Brushing your teeth daily will remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria that may cause tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush all mouth areas, including behind your back teeth, where more than 80% of tooth decay occurs. Regular brushing helps keep your gums strong and healthy; it also helps prevent receding gums that can expose vulnerable roots. For optimum results, brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. If you need additional assistance cleaning your tongue or removing excess plaque, use a tongue scraper and dental floss. Rinse out with water after each scrubbing session.
Flossing your teeth regularly can reduce your chances of suffering from periodontal disease, gingivitis and bad breath. In addition, keep in mind that some foods and drinks can increase plaque build-up around your teeth, so a healthy diet can go a long way to keeping your smile looking great for longer. Good dental hygiene is vital if you want to protect your teeth as you age, but don’t worry – there are plenty of ways you can take care of them!
Rinse with Mouthwash
Mouthwash is often overlooked when it comes to oral hygiene, but rinsing with a good mouthwash has several benefits. Mouthwash can help keep gums healthy and inhibit bad breath by killing off bacteria that cause decay. There are hundreds of different kinds of mouthwash on store shelves, and they are usually divided into two categories: alcohol-free and alcohol-containing. Alcohol-containing mouthwashes typically contain 22% alcohol and fluoride to prevent tooth decay and mild antibacterial agents from killing germs in your mouth. You should always consult with your dentist before trying out a new type of mouthwash as they can cause issues with existing dental work or medication you may be taking if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.
Take Calcium Supplements
Calcium is an essential nutrient that keeps your teeth and bones strong. It’s important to take a calcium supplement when you get older because your body needs more than before, but it becomes harder to absorb calcium naturally. Most people in their 50s and older need at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day (that’s twice as much as women who are younger than 50). Calcium supplements can help you meet these needs. You can find them in pill form or choose foods like yogurt or cheese that have added calcium. If you prefer chewable tablets to pills, look for ones that contain 200 mg of elemental calcium per tablet.