6 Ways to Prevent Tooth Loss When Aging

Tooth loss happens as people age, but with the right care and oral hygiene routine, you can prevent major tooth loss from happening. Working with your dentist and making small lifestyle changes now can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums into your senior years. Here’s what to know about preventing tooth loss as you age.

1. Stay Away from Damaging Foods and Drinks

Some foods and drinks do more harm than good, by eroding your tooth enamel and causing tooth decay. Knowing which foods to avoid and which foods to eat less of can help you.

  • Sugary foods and drinks. These foods and drinks can contribute to tooth decay, leading to cavities and infections.
  • Acidic foods. Acidic foods like tomatoes and vinegar dressings can erode tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay.

Protect your teeth by reducing your consumption of citrus fruits and tomatoes. Carbonated, sugary drinks can be very damaging, even though they’re also very tempting to drink. You can make eating right easier by simply not buying sugary foods and drinks from the grocery store.

2. Maintain a Regular Oral Hygiene Routine

Cleaning your teeth means using the right tools and cleaning your teeth every day. Every three months, replace old toothbrushes with new, soft-bristled toothbrushes. Brush your teeth twice daily, and floss once daily. Are you using a good tooth brushing technique? Have your dentist give you a tooth brushing tutorial the next time you go in for a cleaning.

3. Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Most dentists ask their patients to go to the dentist every six months for a cleaning and examination. If your dentist identifies a problem, they may have you come in more frequently. Mark your calendar at the right times of year to remind yourself when it’s time to schedule a new dentist appointment.

4. Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools

Your teeth are not meant to be scissors that cut through packaging. Don’t use your teeth as tools to cut, rip, tear, or bite through anything that isn’t food. Try to use only scissors for these activities.

5. Quickly Resolve Issues with Dry Mouth

Saliva helps clean your teeth and wash away bacteria, so dry mouth can lead to problems like gum disease. Dry mouth can have many causes including medication you’re taking and personal habits like smoking. Stay hydrated. If you smoke, now is the time to stop.

6. Replace Missing Teeth

When a tooth does fall out, your other teeth can shift to fill the space where the old tooth used to be. This can lead to wear and tear on your teeth and may lead to more tooth loss over time. Replacing missing teeth is one of the best ways to keep your remaining teeth healthy.

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