As we get older, time can take a toll on our teeth and gums. After a lifetime of wear and tear, our smiles can become stained and more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. What can you do to protect your teeth and keep your smile beautiful? Thankfully, your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, is here with some tips for maintaining a lifetime of bright, white smiles.
Mechanical Wear and Tear: Tooth enamel is the second hardest substance nature creates, but a lifetime of chewing, clenching, and grinding can lead to cracked and chipped teeth. The best way to protect your teeth from wear and tear is by attending regular checkups. This will allow your dentist to check for signs of weakness in your teeth, as well as tooth decay and gum disease. Avoid chewing ice or very hard foods, and check that pitted foods have had the pits removed before you bite into them.
Stained Teeth: Certain foods and drinks can be major causes of stained teeth. Coffee, cigarettes, wine, and tea stain teeth. Stains can also be created by plaque buildup; this can happen if you don’t floss and brush your teeth regularly or don’t attend regular dental checkups. If left untreated, plaque buildup can also cause tooth decay. Brush twice and floss once daily, and use an anti-bacterial mouthwash.
Dry Mouth: Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth can be very harmful to your teeth. Saliva cleans teeth and neutralizes harmful acids that can eat away at enamel and cause tooth decay and gum disease. Chewing sugar-free gum can also stimulate saliva production. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, consider a saliva substitute. Smoking, heredity, and some medications contribute to xerostomia.
Gum Disease: As you get older, pockets of bacteria can form at the gum line. Without regular checkups and healthy oral habits like brushing and flossing, this bacteria can cause gum disease, which if left untreated can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Acid Erosion: This is a common threat to your teeth as you age, and it is caused primarily by sugary and starchy foods. The carbonation in sodas can also increase oral acidity. Avoiding sodas and foods high in sugar and starch can help fight tooth decay, enamel erosion, and gum disease.
The best way to protect your teeth is through preventive care. Simply attend regular checkups so Dr. Miller can watch for signs of tooth decay or gum disease. Along with brushing and flossing, this is the easiest way to deter major damage to your teeth and gums. If you want to repair your smile, through cosmetic procedures such as whitening or restorative dentistry such as bridgework and crowns, your Albuquerque dentist employs a variety of procedures to help.
To ensure healthy teeth and gums for years to come, make an appointment with your Albuquerque dentist’s office by calling Snow Park Dental at (505) 596-4479. Located in the 87112 area, we proudly serve patients from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Edgewood, Corrales, Los Lumas, Tijeras, Mountain Air, Santa Fe, and Taos.
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