In our previous post, we discussed the benefits of maintaining your natural teeth for your entire life. As you saw in that post, your life could actually end up being about 10 years longer! There are a lot of factors going into that increase, but nutrition is one of the biggest factors.
Just think, if you are living with many missing teeth or poorly-fitted dentures, you are not going to be able to chew very well. Things like fresh fruits and vegetables will fall by the wayside! You’ll tend to reach for foods that are easier to eat, but those foods also tend to lack nutrition.
So, you know that keeping those natural teeth is important, but how does one do that? How do you keep your natural teeth for your entire life? Isn’t it really normal for adults to lose all of their teeth and wear dentures? It might seem normal, but only about 25% of adults over 60 are dealing with this fate.
Even if it was normal, it’s not a fate you would like for yourself. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this from happening, but it means being a vigilant caretaker of your smile! Don’t worry, we aren’t talking about obsessively brushing your teeth, but we are talking about prioritizing your smile and your oral care. Let’s look at how that might work!
Making and Maintaining Routine Appointments
As we mentioned in our previous blog, this all begins with your routine cleaning appointments. No matter how often and how well you brush and floss your teeth, you are going to end up with plaque buildup. You are going to gather bacteria under your gum line that will cause harm. It needs to be removed regularly through the routine cleaning appointment.
It can be hard to get in a routine of going to the dentist every six months, especially if you have never done this before! We have a couple of tips to help you make that adjustment.
Schedule Ahead – One thing that really helps patients, especially busy patients, is to schedule your cleanings well ahead of time! We recommend always schedule appointments at least six months in advance, but making your appointments a year in advance can also help!
Prioritize the Cleaning – Once the cleanings are on the calendar, don’t schedule over them unless it is an emergency. Prioritize those appointments, because if you try to cancel and reschedule, you’ll find every excuse in the book to avoid the dental appointment!
Make the appointment and stick with it. You’ll soon find out that these cleanings can be really comfortable and refreshing!
Revamp Your At-home Care
Once you have made a schedule for your semi-annual dental cleaning and exam, you can focus on the care you give your teeth each and every day! That really is your first line of defense, and if you are lacking appropriate care, we will see the effects in your overall health. Be sure that you are doing the following!
Using the Right Tools – Part of a great at-home care routine is using the right tools for your teeth. Select a brush that is the right size for your mouth (big enough to cover all of the surfaces, but small enough to be comfortable) and a floss that you are comfortable using. You might need to try a few different brands before you feel confident that you have selected the best for your mouth.
Boosting Your Habits – Right now, you might not be practicing the best habits. If you are not flossing, or you are only brushing for 30 seconds, there is room for improvement! Brush at least twice each day. For each brushing session, keep those bristles moving for at least two minutes! Ask us for proper floss technique and let us help you develop a better system!
Looking for Trouble – You will come see us every six months, but a lot can happen in that six months! You might notice a problem or pain before your next scheduled appointment. Don’t sit back and wait! If you notice trouble, bring it to our attention so that we can help you deal with the problem while it is still small! People who lose their teeth do so because we aren’t able to catch the problem in time to correct it. Don’t let that be you!
Come See Us for More Tips
Keeping your natural teeth is very important to us all! We want you to be smiling for your entire life, but that requires care up front! We have many, many resources for you right here in our office, so go ahead and Contact us to set up an appointment. We would love to see you very soon so that we can discuss great oral health habits!