Just like other parts of our bodies, our teeth can change as we start to age. They go through a lot in a lifetime, so it’s only natural that they experience some kinds of wear and tear eventually. However, if you don’t look after your teeth at this important stage in your life, you can risk causing lasting damage to your mouth. A sparkling smile should be achievable no matter how old you are, as long as you invest a little bit of care into your dental health.
Your teeth are made of enamel, which is one of the hardest, most reliant compounds on the planet. You only have to look at archaeological digs to see that – many skeletons brought out of the ground from centuries ago still have nearly all their teeth intact. This is because the bacteria that causes tooth decay, the leading cause of tooth loss, cannot survive in a dead body. Therefore, the teeth can remain intact forever. But if you subject your teeth to a lot of hard food during your lifetime, you can gradually start to wear them down. This means that as you get older, you need to be aware of the kinds of food you are eating to avoid this worsening. Chewing ice, or eating very hard, crunchy foods frequently should be avoided for the most part. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat solids at all, but anything you find particularly hard on your teeth could be damaging.
Tooth loss and decay
As previously mentioned, tooth decay is the biggest cause of tooth loss over the world. The decay, which is generally caused by bacteria, weakens the tissue supporting your teeth, causing them to eventually fall out. This can be painful and mentally traumatic for the sufferer, especially when it comes to dealing with the aftermath. The best way to avoid losing your teeth is to keep on top of your dental hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush at least twice a day significantly reduces your risk of getting tooth decay. Using floss can also deal with plaque and adding an alcohol free mouthwash can also help you maintain a healthy mouth. However, if the damage has already been done you may want to find out about partial dentures. These allow you to cover up certain teeth that you have lost, rather than having to buy a full set.
Be aware of more serious risks
There is a small chance you could develop certain types of cancer later in life, including tongue, mouth and throat cancer. Whilst some of these conditions are purely down to chance and hereditary factors, you can lessen your chances of getting them in some ways. If you are a smoker, cutting down or quitting can mean you are less prone to developing cancer. Drinking alcohol has also been linked to these certain types of cancer, so be aware of how much you are drinking as you age. If you have any pain in your mouth, or find a lump, make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible.