Grown Up Gums: Dental Care Tips For Adults
Practicing good oral care and hygiene is crucial to maintaining a lifelong set of healthy teeth and gums. Research has shown that there is often a direct association between a person’s oral health and their overall health, making it that much more important to establish healthy oral care habits. In order to prevent issues such as gum disease, tooth sensitivity and gingivitis, it is crucial that adults of all ages take extra precaution when it comes to dental and oral health. Today, we look at 6 dental care tips that are sure to keep your teeth and gums healthy as you get older. Read on to find out more!
Brushing Before Bed
Most of us are great at brushing our teeth at the start of the day, but research has shown that a mere 60% of us remember to brush our teeth before bedtime. Of course, it’s no secret that dentists recommend that we brush our teeth a minimum of twice a day. Still, many of us continue to neglect our night time dental routine for a variety of reasons. Brushing before heading to bed is the best way to rid the mouth of bacteria which would otherwise feed on food remnants on teeth and under our gums. The by-product of this process is acid production which can strip off tooth enamel and lead to cavities and other dental issues down the line. This is especially important for anyone who uses orthodontic devices such as wondersmile clear aligners as failing to clean your teeth can cause bacteria from your mouth to become trapped inside your aligner trays.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
How many of us are guilty of using the same toothbrush for as long as up to one year? This may seem like the frugal thing to do, but did you know that dentists recommend that we replace our toothbrushes at least once every 3 months? It is also important to replace your toothbrush after you have been sick in order to prevent contamination. As soon as your toothbrush starts to look worn, we recommend replacing it as soon as possible as an old toothbrush is much less effective at cleaning your teeth and may result in the formation of oral cavities and other oral diseases.
Say No To Tobacco
We all know how harmful cigarettes and tobacco products can be to our health, but did you know that smokers have twice the risk of gum disease than non-smokers? Smoking also weakens the immune system which in turn makes it harder for your body to fight gum infections and periodontal disease. Furthermore, smoking causes bad breath and tooth discoloration, so avoiding cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and pipes is the best thing you can do for both our oral and overall health.
Flossing Is A Must
Flossing is one of those things that we know we should be doing on a regular basis. Even so, research has shown that only 30% of the population flosses on a daily basis, leaving the rest of us susceptible to preventable complications such as gingivitis and gum disease. Studies have even shown that failing to floss may in some instances spur lung disease as plaque can create buildup of organisms that are responsible for causing pneumonia. Flossing twice a day is recommended, but if you are unable to fit that into your schedule, then it is advised that you floss before bedtime at the very least.
Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
Many people grind their teeth as a result of stress, anxiety and other stressful events in life. Some people even grind their teeth during sleep — something that often goes unnoticed until further complications arise. Some symptoms of teeth grinding include headaches, earaches, pain and stiffness in the jaw area. Aside from causing discomfort, severe teeth grinding can even lead to damage to your teeth, dental crowns or any restoration work you have had done. Use of a nighttime mouth guard can help reduce the amount of teeth grinding you do in your sleep, and practicing self care and healthy ways of processing stress is another great way to prevent grinding of teeth during the day.
Your Diet Counts
As much as we hate to stress on this topic, what you eat and drink directly affects your oral health. Common and seemingly harmless things such as wine, fizzy drinks and pickles can actually really damage your teeth due to the high amounts of acid contained in such food and drink. Acid eventually softens the enamel on your teeth, leaving your teeth vulnerable to cavities. Avoiding both sugary and acidic food and drinks is the best way to ensure you maintain the perfect smile well into your golden years!
Increase Your Fluoride Consumption
Last but not least, increasing fluoride is a fantastic way to help prevent tooth decay and repair weak spots in your teeth. Many experts believe that fluoride is incredibly beneficial to overall oral health which is why you will find it as a common ingredient in most toothpastes and mouthwashes. Using such products on top of asking for fluoride treatment at your next dental visit and drinking tap water are all fantastic ways of increasing your fluoride intake and ensuring that your teeth are in the best possible condition throughout your adult life.
Keeping up with healthy dental and oral hygiene habits is the best way to prevent complications such as gum disease, tooth loss and tooth decay. By adopting a healthy oral routine and sticking to it, you will be effectively setting yourself up for a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth, regardless of your age!