Your permanent teeth are the second and last set of teeth nature will give you. Taking care of them is critical for your long-term oral health and high quality of life. Generations past knew that, at some point, they would lose their natural teeth. About a century ago, newlyweds were often given sets of dentures as wedding presents, and one wives’ tale dictates that mothers lose a tooth for every child they birth. Today, we are seeing our senior citizens keep their teeth healthy and strong throughout life. Now more than ever before, people are retaining their natural teeth for a lifetime. In this article, Celina dentist, Dr. Angela Ganjoor, discusses ways to improve your potential for keeping healthy, natural teeth throughout life.
Maintain Good Oral Health
Maintaining good daily oral hygiene is the most important thing you can do to deter the dreaded dentures. Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled, ADA-approved toothbrush that is less than three months old and fluoridated toothpaste. Floss once a day, use a tongue scraper or brush your tongue to rid it of bacteria, and rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash. These actions will remove much of the plaque, starches, acids, and food particles on your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing will also help keep healthy levels of bacteria in your mouth, which houses about 600-1000 different bacteria varieties.
Watch What You Eat
Bacteria digest sugars and starches, then secrete acid that softens tooth enamel. In a vulnerable, soft state, tooth enamel is subjected to bacterial attack — which means cavities. Even the most vigilant daily oral hygiene routine won’t keep bacteria from consuming sugars and starches. The best way to prevent acid development is to limit your intake. Also, stay away from acidic, carbonated, and sugary drinks. If you snack, snack fast, then rinse your mouth with water. Do not graze for hours on any beverages (besides water), candies, or foods. Chewing gum after meals is especially helpful, when you can’t brush your teeth. Water and saliva neutralize enamel-eroding acid and wash away bacteria.
Avoid biting down on hard foods, such as popcorn kernels, nut shells, or olive pits. Cracked teeth are a common problem, and because teeth do not have the natural ability to heal themselves, in most cases a crown is required to repair the damage. Also, refrain from habitually biting on pens, pencils, fingernails, ice, and other hard objects. Over time, you’ll wear down the enamel on your front teeth, which could make them more susceptible to sensitivity.
To Keep Your Teeth, Avoid Gum Disease
The main cause of adult tooth loss in America is gum disease, which starts as gingivitis and escalates to advanced periodontitis over time. Studies tell us, about 80% of Americans have some level of gum disease. The condition is chronic, so you cannot be cured. However, with professional help from Dr. Ganjoor and our hygienists, you can reverse the effects of gum disease, restore or replace damaged teeth, heal infected gums, and deter the disease’s destruction. Gum disease begins with bacteria infecting the gums, right at the gum line, where teeth and gums meet. Next to bone, gums are the primary support for teeth. If infection at the gum line spreads, the connective tissues between teeth and gums erode. Periodontal pockets form, and in these dark, warm hiding spots, bacteria breed prolifically. Plaque and calcified plaque, called tartar, are comprised of bacteria and emit harmful bacteria. As gum disease advances, plaque and tartar spread down teeth roots, killing gum tissue and bone. Eventually, as these supportive tissues are harmed, teeth loosen and eventually fall out.
To deter gum disease, practice excellent daily oral care at home, and visit Dr. Ganjoor every six months, or as advised, for a checkup and cleaning. Hormone changes, such as those during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, as well as diabetes, smoking, excessive alcohol use, and some medications, heighten the risk for gum disease. Should you develop gum disease, a deep cleaning will be advised, along with more frequent cleanings and checkups.
Visit Your Prosper Dentist Frequently
Visiting your Prosper family dentist every six months is one last critical step in maintaining your teeth for life. Dr. Ganjoor and her staff are dedicated keeping your teeth healthy. Schedule an appointment with our 75009 dental office by calling (214) 851-0130 today. Located in Celina, we proudly serve patients from Prosper, Frisco, Allen, and neighboring communities.