It's not unusual to see elderly adults with dentures or implants because their natural teeth fell out or had to be removed. But while this is common, tooth loss in older adulthood is by no means unavoidable. Here are some things you can do now as someone in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, to increase your chances of keeping your teeth as you age.
Avoid overly acidic foods.
Acid is not good for your tooth enamel, which is the outermost layer of your teeth. As your enamel is exposed to acid, it slowly becomes thinner and thinner. Then, it takes oral bacteria a lot less time to work their way through your enamel and create a cavity. Try to avoid acidic foods when possible, and you will reduce your risk of cavities and tooth decay that can ultimately cause you to lose your teeth. Common acidic foods include:
- Tomato sauce
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons
- Soda (including diet soda)
Note that you do not have to cut these foods out of your diet completely. Just keep them to a minimum and enjoy them as treats rather than as staples.
Do a better job of flossing.
You probably know that flossing once a day is important for ongoing oral health. Still, so many people either forget to floss or do not do so properly. This could lead to tooth loss when you're older! Dedicate yourself to flossing once a day. Leave floss in areas like your work desk, your car, and your bedroom so you see it and are reminded to floss. When you do floss, remember to curve the floss around the bottom of each tooth in a C-shape rather than just pushing it straight down. This helps clean the lower surfaces of the teeth more thoroughly.
Choose fluoridated water.
Fluoride is a mineral that keeps your tooth enamel strong and able to resist decay. Most local water supplies are fortified with fluoride, so if you drink tap water, you should get enough of it. However, if you stick to bottled water, you may not get enough fluoride since a lot of brands do not have fluoride added. Check to be sure the brand you're buying does contain fluoride.
In addition to following the tips above, you also need to have regular dental checkups to ensure problems are caught and treated early. For more information about preserving your teeth as you age, contact local professionals like Woodbine Dental Pa.