As we move through life, we experience many ups and downs, and that is true of our teeth as well. Maintaining a good oral health routine is critical to your lifelong health. While we may encounter bruxism, damage, or an occasional filling, your dentist is with you through the whole process to ensure the longevity of your teeth and gums. Your trusted Midtown dentist can help you move through the different cycles of your life with healthy habits and expert advice. This blog will look at the various facets of ageing teeth, such as yellowing and dentures, and how to keep them healthy as you grow older.
Teeth will naturally yellow as you get older.
Teeth yellow as we age because the enamel of our teeth starts to fade, exposing our more yellow dentin layer underneath. While genetics can determine the density and brightness of your enamel, we all move through this process as we age.
While genetics plays a prominent role in the colour of your teeth, so does your diet. To prevent premature yellowing of the teeth, you can minimize your intake of foods and beverages which cause staining, such as coffee and red wine, and avoid smoking and chewing tobacco. If you wear dentures already, it is important to note that this is also true for dentures. However, the most crucial factor in preventing yellowing teeth is to maintain a diligent oral health routine.
How do you maintain your teeth throughout your lifetime?
Maintaining your oral health is not only good for your teeth but good for your body overall. Your mouth is fundamentally connected to the health of your entire body—infection, decay, and bacteria in your mouth can affect your overall health. There are links between gingivitis, tooth decay, periodontal disease and the health of your heart and body. The best way to maintain your teeth and your health is with these simple tips:
- Bi-annual dental cleanings and checkups (some patients may require more)
- Brushing a minimum of twice daily with a fluoride-based toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Using an antibacterial mouthwash daily
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet low in acid and sugar
- Staying hydrated––especially if you are taking medications that cause dry mouth
What are some common risk factors for oral health as we age?
As our enamel becomes thinner, we increase our chances for harmful damage to our teeth. Common causes of enamel wear include a diet high in acidity and sugar, damage caused by trauma to the teeth (including using our teeth to open bobby pins or bottles), and inadequate dental hygiene practices––which can become more challenging as our mobility or strength decreases. As we age, we may also face receding gums, which only increase the severity of any damage. When our gums recede, they expose areas of the teeth which are not naturally protected by enamel. As such, these areas are far more susceptible to damage and sensitivity.
There are also external risk factors for our teeth, including medical conditions and medications. Many prescription medications can cause a decrease in saliva production resulting in dry mouth. If your medication(s) causes you to have a dry mouth, it is imperative that you stimulate your saliva glands. You can do this by:
- Chewing raw and crunchy foods such as carrots and celery
- Having gum, mints, or lozenges––but beware of sugar content
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
Saskatoon’s teeth are our number one priority.
We want to ensure your teeth are healthy as you move through every stage of life. Whether you are preparing for dentures, starting to think about the health of your teeth in a new way or have questions about cosmetic procedures such as whitening or veneers, we are here to help. We are here to help you move through the ageing process with healthy teeth and bodies. Talk to your trusted dentist at Midtown Dental today about ageing, dentures, and oral care for seniors.