How to preserve your teeth as you age


It is important to take care of your mouth and teeth very early in your life. Failing to do so can create problems with your teeth and gums - like cavities or even tooth loss.

You should also be aware about the different types of problems you might have as your teeth age and how to respond to each of them:

(1) Acid erosion: Sugary and starchy food ferment causing the bacteria in the mouth to produce acids. Those acids can quickly eat away at the enamel of teeth. To avoid this, besides the tips already given, you should go easy on sugary foods, especially carbonated drinks;

(2) Mechanical wear and tear: For this you should avoid chewing ice and other very hard foods, double-check to make sure that pitted foods have no pits before you bite down on them;

(3) Stains on your teeth: Certain foods - coffee, tea, and red wine - and tobacco can stain teeth you should clean your teeth regularly after consuming these products;

(4) Gum problems: To prevent gum problems, you should brush and floss regularly to remove bacteria, use an antibacterial mouthwash. Since gum disease is an inflammatory process, eating foods that suppress inflammation may help;

(5) Dry mouth as you age: Dry mouth can drastically increase the risk of decay and gum problems. At the first sign of dry mouth, talk to your doctor. A change in prescriptions may help alleviate the problem. If not, your doctor may recommend chewing sugar-free gum. Gum increases saliva flow. Saliva-like oral mouthwashes are also available....

Here is what you can do to keep your mouth and teeth healthy:

(1) Brush your teeth every day with a fluoride toothpaste
(2) Clean between your teeth every day with floss or another type of between-the-teeth cleaner
(3) Don't smoke or chew tobacco
(4) See your dentist or oral health professional regularly...