Getting older brings with it a variety of health concerns: from arthritic hands to knee replacements to all the symptoms of menopause, aging can seem like a constant battle to stop your body from falling apart. Losing their teeth is one of the greatest concerns for many people, as teeth are such a key part of a person’s appearance. No-one looks forward to the thought of tooth extractions and denture fittings, but members of the ambitious baby boomer generation are particularly unwilling to go quietly into old age, preferring to keep their own beautiful smiles for as long as possible. If you’re wondering how to stave off the Poligrip during middle and later life, you might be interested in these tips and tricks for keeping your own teeth.
How to Clean Your Teeth Effectively
Are you cleaning your teeth thoroughly enough? Dentists recommend brushing for at least three minutes twice a day, but most people spend less than a minute brushing their teeth. Over the years, that shortfall can add up to a lot of lost brushing time. Set an egg timer to remind you to keep brushing, or use a portable music player to play a song that is at least three minutes long while you brush.
Replacing your toothbrush regularly is essential for getting an effective clean. Buy a new brush at least once every 3 months. Some brushes have strips that change color to alert you to the need to change your brush, but you could also mark the date on a calendar as a reminder.
Another problem with daily brushing is that many people don’t use proper teeth-cleaning techniques. Pressing too hard is a common mistake which can damage gums. Use a soft brush and apply gentle pressure in small movements for an effective clean. Pay attention to cleaning one or two teeth thoroughly before moving on. You should also gently scrub your tongue with the toothbrush, as plaque can linger there.
Eating for Healthy Teeth and Gums
The most important mineral for healthy teeth is calcium. Teeth are made of calcium, which can be found in dairy products, leafy greens, almonds, and fortified dairy replacements. The importance of calcium for keeping your teeth is familiar to many people, but did you know that you also need vitamin D to absorb calcium from food? Vitamin D is found in full-fat milk and yogurt, and it is also produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Getting outdoors, even for as little as 30 minutes a day, can help to maintain healthy vitamin D levels and make sure you get enough calcium to protect your teeth.
Healthy teeth depend on healthy gums to keep them firmly fixed in place. You can support your gums by eating lots of fresh fruit, which contains Vitamin C to prevent scurvy, a disease characterized by bleeding gums.
How To Keep Your Own Teeth
Keeping your own teeth requires a combination of effective brushing, tooth-friendly nutrition, and regular visits to the dentist to diagnose and treat tooth problems before decay sets in. If you have a toothache, don’t ignore it – see you dentist as soon as possible so that the tooth can be fixed rather than having to be removed. By following the above tips and tricks for keeping your teeth, you can avoid the need to have your teeth pulled and replaced with dentures.
Guest post contributed by Laura, on behalf of Glebe Dental Group.