Our teeth are incredibly strong. They constantly endure extreme temperature and pressure from the chewing, crunching, and biting we do. Still, everyday wear and tear and the natural aging process take a toll on our teeth.
Follow this advice to prevent your age from showing in your smile.
Preventing Acid Erosion
The biggest threat to your teeth are sugary and starchy foods. These carbohydrates ferment and cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids, which quickly eat away at your tooth enamel. As a result, your teeth become much more susceptible to tooth decay.
What You Can Do:
- Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.
- Avoid frequent snacking, which causes acid levels in the mouth to remain high over an extended amount of time.
- Chew sugarless gum when you get a craving for something sweet. Chewing increases saliva production, which helps cleanse the mouth and neutralize acidity.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes and floss daily.
- Have regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months.
Preventing Mechanical Wear and Tear on Your Teeth
The main function of your teeth is to bite and chew to break up your food for digestion.
While teeth do not become more brittle with age, continuously using a chipped or cracked tooth to bite can cause serious damage. Teeth that have fillings or have had root canals are particularly vulnerable because they are missing components of their natural structure.
Grinding and clenching your teeth, also called bruxism, is a negative habit that is frequently caused by stress or anxiety. Bruxism can wear down the biting surfaces of your teeth over time.
What You Can Do:
- Avoid chewing on ice and other very hard foods.
- Check to make sure that pitted foods have no pits before you bite down on them.
- Come in for appointments regularly. I can spot cracked or broken fillings that may weaken your teeth. I will also check for signs of bruxism and suggest methods of treatment if necessary.
Dr. Brad Greenfield is a family and cosmetic dentist in Lake Orion, Michigan, so he sees and treats patients of all ages and all dental needs. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry at (248) 693-6213.