Cut Down Wear and Tear
Your teeth are crazy strong. Still, they can be worn down. All that chewing, grinding, and biting wears away the enamel -- that hard, outer layer of your teeth. It also flattens the parts you use when you bite and chew.You can't erase a lifetime of wear and tear, without having it restored by a dentist, but you can keep it from getting worse. Don't chew ice or other hard foods. That can cause chips in your enamel and even broken teeth.
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Bacteria, called plaque is always forming on your teeth. If you don't remove it, it can cause soreness, swelling, and bleeding in your gums. It can even cause infections that hurt the bone underneath.
Your dentist will treat serious gum disease, called periodontitis. If you let it go unchecked, it could harm your gums and bones. Once that happens, you may need to have teeth removed.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- Gums that recede, or pull back from your teeth
- Loose teeth
- Bad Breath
Don’t Let Your Mouth Dry Out
Saliva helps clean teeth and protects your mouth from decay. But as you get older, your mouth gets drier and your odds of tooth decay go up. Your meds could be to blame. Lots of drugs dry you out. To fight back, drink more water. Hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow. You can also suck on sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum. If you think drugs are the cause, talk to your doctor about changing them.
Be Kind to Sensitive Teeth
Worn enamel, gum problems , and tooth decay can all make your teeth more sensitive. It can hurt when you drink something hot or cold or even when you brush your teeth a little too hard.
Good dental care is the best prevention. Brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly. If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist can recommend a toothpaste or in-office treatment that will make you more comfortable.