What Can You Do Now To Keep Your Teeth Into Old Age?

Are the older adults around you beginning to lose their teeth? You may watch them get dentures and deal with tooth pain, all the while dreading the day when you reach their age and have to deal with the same struggles. But while tooth loss in the elderly is common, it is not guaranteed. Especially with today's more advanced dental care, it is possible to take early action to prevent loss of teeth in old age. Here are some things you can do, starting today, to help ensure you keep your teeth.

1. Keep your dental appointments.

Some patients assume that their dentists are exaggerating or being hyper-cautious when they recommend professional cleaning and checkup appointments every 6 months. But this is not just a money-grab. When your dental hygienist cleans your teeth, he or she scrapes away tartar. These hardened tartar deposits greatly increase your risk of tooth decay, and you can't remove them yourself. Having them regularly removed by your hygienist will keep your teeth in much better shape as you age. Keep those twice-a-year dental appointments; make them a priority.

2. Invest in a water flosser.

Flossing is essential to keep the spaces between your teeth clean. However, many people either don't floss often enough, or don't do a good job of flossing. This can cause decay to set in between the teeth, and that decay can then spread, leading to tooth loss. Invest in a water flosser. These devices cost about $50, they are easier to use than floss, and they do a more thorough job than floss.

3. Watch your sugar intake.

You're probably cautious about feeding your children sugar because you know it can perpetuate tooth decay. But eating sugar is bad for adults' teeth, too. Sugar feeds oral bacteria, which cause tooth decay. Eat a low-sugar diet, and your risk of tooth decay, and subsequent tooth loss, will decrease.

4. Have problems checked out ASAP.

If you have tooth pain, soreness in your gums, or any other dental problem, seek treatment ASAP. Don't put off visiting the dentist in hope that the pain will go away on its own. When tooth problems are dealt with early, they are often easy to treat. But leave them go too long, and you may end up with tooth loss and a bigger problem.

Tooth loss in old age is not inevitable. Take good care of your teeth today, and they'll keep taking good care of you later on. For more information, contact a dentist such as Elizabeth Loseke DDS today.