June 4, 2017
Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime with the right care over the years. However, tooth loss often occurs as time goes on because many people are not aware that oral health needs are going to change. As your smile ages, extra preventive measures are needed to protect it from damage. As your Lincoln dentist, Dr. Craig Vacek has the information you need to maintain the health of your teeth and gums as the years pass.
How Do My Teeth Change?
Your teeth start to show their age early on. While discoloration is one of the first signs, there are deeper issues occurring, some of which may not be visible. Your enamel will start to thin from years of daily use. In addition, the nerves in your teeth become smaller, making them less sensitive to cavities and dental problems. When you combine weakened enamel with smaller nerves, it is vital to maintain your oral hygiene routine and preventive dental appointments to ensure tooth decay and other complications do not go undetected.
In addition, you may notice that your top teeth look smaller than those on the bottom jaw. This is due to bone loss that occurs naturally. This will not only cause your gum line to recede but also make your teeth shift out of alignment. This increases your risk for tooth decay and gum disease as they become more difficult to clean. However, it can also change your bite, leading to disorders of the temporomandibular joint, which occur when the jaw functions incorrectly.
Daily wear and tear will also cause them to weaken, making them more prone to breaking. It is best to visit your dentist in Lincoln regularly to help protect them from the strain and pressure of chewing. In addition, you can also prescribed certain medications that increase your risk for dental problems developing, such as those that cause dry mouth, like allergy medications and heart medications.
How Do I Care for My Teeth as I Age?
As you age, you still need to brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. However, if your mobility is affected, you may find it easier to use an electric toothbrush. In addition, floss your teeth daily with a flossing tool that is comfortable for you to use.
If you wear dentures, partials, or have another oral appliance, it is important to care for them correctly to prevent infections and damage to your remaining natural teeth. If they break, do not continue to use them. Have them repaired right away.
As you become more prone to dental problems, it is important to stop any activities that can increase your risk for issues, like smoking and using your teeth as tools. In addition, maintain a close relationship with your dentist and schedule a visit every 6 months for preventive care. During your appointment, Dr. Vacek will recommend additional methods to help protect your teeth.
Will My Teeth Last a Lifetime?
If you have maintained your oral health throughout your life, you can help to ensure your teeth last a lifetime. Brush and floss each day to take a proactive approach to protet your smile. With Dr. Vacek and daily home care, we will make sure that your smile lasts into your golden years. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
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