Maintaining Dental Health as You Age
Posted on March 19, 2018 by Kochevar Endo
One of the most frequently asked questions that we get at Kochevar Endodontics is “how do I prevent tooth damage as I get older?” You see, as we age, our teeth lose their durability. This is due to years of chewing, grinding, and eating sugary foods. Each of these are normal, and the honest truth is that there’s really no way to completely prevent tooth damage in your older years. That being said, there are still a number of ways you can take care of your teeth, and we’ll even answer some more FAQ about the general changes your teeth might experience as you age.
Dental Damage in Your 20’s
When you’re in your 20’s and 30’s, you probably aren’t paying that much attention to your mouth. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. You likely ate, or are eating, anything you want, missing the occasional morning or evening brush, and flossing? Forget about it. In fact, your 20’s are the time when you are most likely going to need a root canal. This is also the best time to get the procedure done because you are better able to heal correctly.
Can I do anything to prevent root canals in my 20’s?
Of course. While you are young, you should be doing the following:
- Eating healthy – avoid eating more than 25 grams of sugar daily, and ensure you are eating enough from each food group. A healthy diet, believe it or not, assists the overall health of your gums.
- Brushing twice daily – this seems obvious, but don’t skip if you can.
- Flossing once daily – you only need to floss once daily, but make sure you floss gently between each tooth.
- Brushing at the right time – though you might be good at brushing your teeth twice daily, try to brush at least 1/2 an hour after your last meal. Brushing directly after eating or drinking can damage your enamel.
- Regularly visiting your dentist – this is important in catching tooth decay at the right time. If you don’t regularly visit your dentist, you run the risk of getting an infection, and possibly needing a root canal when it could have been fixed earlier.
- Notifying your dentist – if you experience any sensitivity, numbness, or pain while chewing, drinking, or just general living, you should contact your dentist or endodontist to catch the issue early.
We know that these all seem incredibly obvious, but it’s important to remember to do them. These steps are important in preventing future damage and pain. So, now that we know you’ve been taking great care of your teeth while you’re young, what about when you’re middle-aged?
Dental Health as You Age
So what happens if you find that you actually didn’t take such good care of your teeth when you were younger? And now you’re in your 40’s and you realize that you’ve got quite a few teeth that need help. Well, we’re here to help.
- Make sure you’ve gotten your wisdom teeth removed. Again, believe it or not, some people just don’t get this done when they’re young, and have to have the procedure when they’re in their 40’s or later! Trust us – it’s much easier to get your wisdom teeth removed when you’re young.
- Repair any chips. It’s likely that you’ve chipped a tooth at some point in your life. It’s important to take care of any chips early so they don’t grow and eventually damage the delicate root of your tooth.
- Maintain any crowns. Crowns aren’t always infallible, which means that you need to regularly check them to make sure they’re holding up to regular use.
- Take care of any problems. Just like when you were young, you should be regularly visiting your dentist, and notifying him or her of any dental pain.
Another question that we have heard is “can I prevent my teeth from falling out?”, and the answer is: it depends. Let’s move onto dental health when you’re well into your golden years.
Dental & Oral Health Later in Life
If you’re dreading wearing dentures or living the rest of your life with teeth falling out, it is imperative that you take the above steps to keep your teeth healthy. One of the main reasons adults lose their teeth in their old age is because of poor diet, and lack of oral hygiene. So to answer the question of preventing teeth loss, we say it’s up to you. If you’d like to keep your teeth well into your 70’s through 90’s, take the correct steps to prevent them falling out.
Another thing you can do to help your future self is to visit an endodontist. Because we are incredibly experienced in the area of root canals, chipped or broken teeth, and retreatment, we are prepared and happy to help you keep your adult teeth late into your life.
Already lost your tooth or teeth? You have options:
- Dentures – dentures are the obvious answer. Luckily for you, dentures continue to improve. There are new adhesives to hold your dentures in place, molding procedures to allow your dentures to fit your mouth better, and better cleaning methods.
- Bridges & Crowns – these are good options if you have only lost one or two teeth. They fill the space or spaces and allow you to still speak and chew.
- Dental implants – these are perhaps the most realistic, yet process-difficult, option for replacing teeth. They are attached to the jaw and then a dentist can attach teeth on top.
To learn more, consult your dental professional on the best course of action.
Our teeth are our best friends throughout our lifetime. They allow us to speak, eat, whistle, smile, and so much more! It’s important to take care of them, and yourself! Kochevar Endodontics offers many services to help you do just that! We hope you will take the necessary steps when you are in need of a root canal or retreatment and call us at 801-282-1651!