There is no true substitute for your natural teeth. Sure, there are many effective ways to replace missing or badly damaged natural teeth, but dental prosthetics typically force you to make some changes to your lifestyle. For example, some devices like dentures come with cumbersome cleaning instructions, while others prevent you from eating the foods that you love.
The truth is, life is a lot easier with your natural teeth, so it's best to keep them for as long as you can. You will certainly have your work cut out for you. About one out of every five older Americans have lost all of their natural teeth.
The reasons why people lose their teeth are endless. It could be due to genetic diseases, gingivitis, tooth decay, or trauma. With so many ways to lose your teeth, it is extremely important that you develop good oral health hygiene. Here are 7 secrets to keeping your natural teeth:
1. Brush regularly
Brushing at least twice a day is the cornerstone of good dental health. Spend about 2-4 minutes each brushing session making sure you get all the surfaces of your teeth you can reach. Remember to use a gentle motion. Brushing harshly can damage your enamel.
2. Avoid excessive snacking
Food makes your mouth acidic for about 40 minutes after you eat, so avoid constantly chomping on things throughout the day. If possible, brush after meals to remove the sugars and starch on your teeth.
3. Avoid anything with sugar
Sugar is like kryptonite for your teeth. It is the main cause of tooth decay. Bacteria inside your mouth break down sugars on your teeth into acids that damage your enamel. Stay away from anything with lots of sugar like candy, sodas and ice cream.
4. Floss daily
Flossing should also be an integral part of your daily oral hygiene routine. There are tight spaces between your teeth that a brush cannot reach. However, a thin strip of dental floss can. Use it to clean these spaces and remove any food particles or debris there.
5. Use a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is one of those essential minerals your teeth need to use a toothpaste that has it listed as an ingredient. While you are at it, make sure the toothpaste you decide to go with is not abrasive.
6. Chew on sugarless gum
The glands in your mouth secrete less saliva as you age, but you can ensure your mouth is producing enough saliva to prevent your mouth from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria by chewing on sugarless gum.
7. Chew carefully
Your teeth become more fragile as you age, so take your time while you eat and bite down on food gently. This significantly reduces the odds of you chipping or breaking a tooth.
Follow these seven tips and you will be able to keep your remaining teeth for a very long time. As part of your oral hygiene routine, you should also visit a dentist twice a year for an examination and cleaning. Contact us to schedule an appointment with a dentist.
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