How Do You Keep Your Teeth Strong as You Age?

Many people assume that gum disease and tooth loss are inevitable as they age. But what if we told you that you have the power to protect your oral health as you age? What if we told you that you’re not destined for dentures? Our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, can help you maintain a healthy smile at any age.

Dentist Office Ann Arbor Mi

Here’s what you need to know.

Brush and Floss Every Day

It’s important that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily. Doing this will help remove plaque.

Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives inside your mouth. As it consumes sugar, it produces an acid that erodes your tooth enamel and attacks your gums.

Even if you wear dentures, it’s important that you continue brushing your gums and any remaining teeth. That way, you’ll help prevent plaque from building up inside your mouth and causing problems.

Manage Dry Mouth

It’s not uncommon for older adults to experience dry mouth due to certain medications. While it may seem weird to think about, saliva helps wash away bacteria and food particles. With less saliva, you may be more vulnerable to oral health issues. This is why it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough water.

If you experience dry mouth, let our dentists know during your next appointment. They’ll be able to recommend products to help you manage dry mouth. Taking care of oral health issues as they arise will help you maintain a strong, healthy smile.

Take Good Care of Your Gums

While this blog post is about how to keep your teeth strong, it’s important to understand that your teeth are part of an interconnected system. In this sense, taking care of your gums will also help you maintain healthy teeth.

Schedule an appointment with us if you have bleeding, sore, or swollen gums. The sooner we detect gum disease, the sooner we can help you restore your oral health.

While gingivitis (gum inflammation) is reversible, we can’t say the same about periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection. While a dentist can manage the symptoms of periodontitis through scaling and root planing, they can’t reverse the condition.

The best way to take care of your gums is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. This will help keep down the amount of plaque in your mouth, which will help cure gingivitis and prevent advanced gum disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 64.7 million Americans have periodontitis! The good news is that this condition is preventable as long as you practice good oral hygiene.

Having healthy gums will help support and hold your teeth in place so you’re less prone to losing your teeth as you age. If you wear dentures, having healthy gums will also help support your oral appliance so you can eat and talk with ease.

Quit Smoking

Did you know that smoking suppresses your immune system? It also suppresses your body’s natural ability to heal itself. This makes it harder for your body to fight bacteria that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

If you smoke, you also have a higher risk of getting oral and/or throat cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 54,000 Americans will get oral and/or throat cancer this year. Fortunately, dentists offer oral cancer screenings to detect this condition early. An oral cancer screening could save your life!

Replace Missing Teeth as Soon as Possible

Once you lose a tooth, your body will start to absorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere. If left untreated, bone loss in the jaw can lead to a condition called facial collapse. As the name suggests, facial collapse will give you a sunken appearance and may make it difficult or uncomfortable to continue wearing dentures.

For the above reasons, many patients choose to move forward with the dental implant procedure once they lose teeth. Unlike other tooth replacement options, a dental implant exerts pressure on the jawbone. This tells the body that the bone surrounding the empty socket is still in use and should be left alone.

Related: Why Dental Implants are Better Than Dentures →

Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment

Our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, are accepting new patients and would be more than happy to help you maintain a healthy smile for life. To schedule an appointment, please call Enhance Family Dentistry & Orthodontics at (734) 821-7676. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.

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