With the stresses of everyday life, it can be easy to let basic oral care fall by the wayside. Some may ask, “Why bother with oral hygiene?” The answer is that caring for your teeth is among the most important actions you can take for your general well-being, and it leads to a brighter, healthier smile.
Proper oral hygiene can prevent issues such as cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and other complications that might arise from poor dental hygiene practices (such as poor nutrition or smoking). There are numerous ways to combat tooth decay and gum disease, and you can do a lot at home to keep your teeth healthy. Here are some suggestions from dentists on how to ensure that you have healthy teeth for life.
How Long Do Teeth Last on Average?
Losing teeth is commonly thought of as a natural consequence of aging. Statistics show that by the time an average American reaches seventy years of age, they have typically lost one or two teeth. According to one study, more than a quarter of adults aged 65 to 74 have lost all their teeth, while another survey found that the typical person in this age range has approximately ten remaining teeth. If by this point you’re wondering, “can I save my teeth?” remember these figures are simply averages, and many people manage to maintain a full set of healthy teeth well into their nineties or beyond. So, what is their secret? How long can teeth last? Is tooth loss an inevitable aspect of aging, or is it preventable?
What’s the Typical Age for Tooth Loss?
On average, American adults aged 20 to 64 have around 25 of their original teeth. However, this figure is somewhat misleading since the average American will lose 12 permanent teeth, including wisdom teeth extraction, leaving them with only 20 permanent teeth on average. According to the NICDR’s 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 10.13% of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 suffer from total tooth loss. If you or someone you know is part of this population, family dental care clinics can help.
How to Keep Teeth Healthy
Healthy teeth and gums play an important role in our overall health and well-being regarding proper nutrition, pronunciation, and self-confidence. Poor oral health can lead to a range of problems, from cavities and gum disease to tooth loss and even more severe health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, if you want to understand how to keep teeth healthy, it’s essential to establish good oral hygiene practices from an early age.
Brush Twice a Day
Regularly brushing your teeth can play a vital role in maintaining good oral health. Tooth decay is a common problem that can result in the formation of cavities, and eventually, tooth loss. Furthermore, proper brushing can also help eliminate bad breath, which can negatively affect your social interactions, and prevent gum disease.
Brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the best ways to protect your oral health and keep your teeth and gums healthy by removing plaque from your teeth regularly and preventing the build-up of harmful bacteria that can cause gum disease and decay.
Floss Once a Day
Flossing helps clean the small gaps and tight spaces between your teeth that catch food debris, sugars, and acids from drinks throughout the day. These areas are difficult for your toothbrush to reach, but floss can effectively clean them out. Regularly flossing your teeth for a few minutes each day can contribute to optimal oral health and long-lasting teeth. By making flossing a habit, you’ll be doing your gums a favor as well!
Use Toothpaste With Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in water and certain foods and is commonly added to dental products like toothpaste to help protect natural good teeth from decay. When fluoride is present in the mouth, it can help to strengthen tooth enamel, making it more resistant to harmful acids and bacteria that can cause cavities.
However, it is important to use fluoride-containing products as directed, as excessive exposure to fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, which can cause discoloration and even weakening of tooth enamel. With proper use, however, fluoride can be a valuable tool in promoting good oral health and preventing tooth decay. For more professional advice you can schedule an appointment with our specialists now!
Watch What You Eat and Drink
It’s a common saying that you are what you eat, and when it comes to dental health, this couldn’t be more accurate. The foods we consume, particularly those high in starch and sugar, are also favored by the bacteria living in our mouths, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Maintaining a healthy diet is just as important for your teeth and gums as brushing and flossing regularly. Even with a solid oral hygiene routine in place, it can be challenging to know how to keep teeth healthy over time if your diet is full of harmful foods and drinks.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to promote healthy teeth and gums through your diet. Eating a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all food groups is crucial. This means incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods, calcium-rich foods, and whole grains into your meals for a healthy smile and a healthy body. So, the next time you’re deciding what to eat, remember that your teeth and gums will thank you for choosing nutrient-rich foods over sugary snacks.
Visit the Dentist Every 6 Months for Checkups and Cleanings
Routine checkups and professional cleanings are essential to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. During these visits, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, looking for signs of problems such as cavities, gum inflammation, and oral cancer. Early detection of these problems is essential as it can prevent more severe issues from developing.
It is recommended to visit your dentist at least twice a year, although some individuals may require more frequent visits depending on their oral health needs. During your visits, your dentist can also provide guidance on good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing techniques, and recommend oral care products that can benefit your oral health.
Related: Here are some tips on how to choose a dentist to make sure that you get competent assistance from qualified professionals.
Maintain a Daily Home Care Routine
Taking your home care routine seriously is a crucial commitment that can prevent a range of oral health issues and save you from uncomfortable and costly procedures down the line. Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing, along with routine dental checkups, can help maintain healthy and strong teeth for life.
Maintaining healthy teeth throughout our lifespan requires a combination of proper oral hygiene practices and healthy lifestyle habits. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, visiting the dentist for routine checkups, avoiding harmful habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and following a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. By taking care of our teeth and gums, we can enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles and avoid many common dental problems that can lead to discomfort and tooth loss. To learn more about oral health habits or to better understand the health of your own teeth, make an appointment with the professionals at Spanish Springs Family Dentistry today!