9 Secrets to Keeping Your Teeth Till 90!
|Having beautiful teeth is worth smiling about!|
During my career as a dentist I've seen a handful of patients in their 70s, 80s and even 90s whom had all of their original teeth. Impressive I thought, so I asked them questions about how they've maintained such great oral hygiene. Here is what I have learned are the top 9 secrets you to keeping your teeth forever:
(1) Don’t get cavities: Especially on your adult teeth! We're given two chances with our teeth, once when our baby teeth come out as a child and a second time when our grownup teeth come out as an adult. Unfortunately, our adult teeth come out between the ages of 6 to 12 when we're really not much of an adult. These adult teeth are the important ones which we must maintain for the rest of our lives. Now if you end up with a cavity on your adult teeth early on, you're likely to face a lifetime of problems. Dental fillings will eventually break and need crowns, crowns leak and need root canal treatment and teeth with root canals develop abscess and need to be pulled and replaced with dental implants. And guess what? It all started with that first cavity that you got when you were 7 years old. So in summary: Don’t. Get. Cavities!
(2) Watch out for processed sugars: Processed sugars are very dangerous for our teeth health. Candies, chocolates, juices and sodas are the most dangerous and the stickier that they are, the more they will damage your teeth. Now if you don't have the will power to stop eating sugars, then pay very close attention to item #3.
(3) Brush and floss your teeth: All I'm asking you to do here is brush for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, twice a day. Most of us know how important brushing is to our teeth's health but it's flossing that we keep slacking off on. Flossing your teeth becomes more and more important as we age and our gums continue to recede. Be sure to floss at least every other day when you're younger and everyday by the time you’re in your thirties. It will make a huge difference in your oral health, I promise!
(4) Don’t smoke: Heavy smokers always end up with serious dental problems as they grow old. I've seen very few heavy smokers who have had healthy teeth in their old age and most have serious gum disease and multiple missing teeth. Recreational smokers don't harm their teeth as much, but still run the risk of getting hooked on tobacco products.
(5) Inherit good genes: Unfortunately, this one is not in our control, but you can fix or prevent problems by being proactive. For example, if you have very crowded teeth, you run a high risk of developing gum disease as you age. The solution is getting braces early on. Some people have teeth anatomy which has deep groves that increase the likelihood of developing cavities. Placing preventive Fluoride and dental sealants on your teeth can help protect teeth when you're younger. Keep in mind that these dental issues need to be addressed sooner than later or the damage will be done!
(6) Address your wisdom teeth: Ignoring your wisdom teeth, if you have them, is never a wise idea. Impacted and problematic wisdom teeth not only cause pain and infection, but they also damage other teeth. Wisdom teeth push on other teeth and make your teeth crowded. They can cause infection on neighboring teeth as well. The sooner you take our problematic wisdom teeth, the less pain and complications you will face and the better your chances of having healthy teeth as an adult.
(7) Don’t grind your teeth: Grinding is detrimental to your teeth health and jaw joints. Heavy teeth grinders often break and crack their teeth over time. Take it easy, and don’t take out your stress on your poor teeth! If you do grind your teeth at night times, consider wearing a nightguard or consulting with your dentist.
(8) Control your blood sugar: This one is if you are a diabetic. As a diabetic, you should know how important keeping your sugar under control can be. Uncontrolled diabetes causes serious oral health issues and has a similar effect on teeth and gums as heavy smoking. On the other hand, controlled diabetics have teeth every bit as healthy as you and I.
(9) Don't lose your teeth: Losing teeth, not counting wisdom teeth or ortho-related extractions, causes harm to your other teeth. When you lose even a single tooth, your other teeth start invading the newly formed gap. Eventually, this leads to teeth crowding, cavities and even gum disease within the gap region. Try your best not to lose a tooth, but if god forbid you do, consider replacing the missing tooth/ teeth with dental implants. Dental implants may be expensive, but protecting your teeth against crowding and other serious problems make them worth the investment. To learn more about what dental implants are click here.
I've shared my top 9 secrets to saving your teeth for life with you. Now all you have to do is to live a healthy lifestyle, monitor your diet, clean your teeth regularly and follow the rest of the guideline. In exchange, you will be rewarded with healthy teeth and a beautiful smile as you grow old. If you have any questions or want me to write a blog on a certain dental related topic, please contact me on my website. Thanks for reading.
Brush 'n Floss Yo Teeth!
Ali John Jazayeri, DDS
Oceansight Dental & Implants
Oceansight Dental & Implants