It’s not too late for healthy teeth.
A bright, confident smile looks good at every age. Unfortunately, many middle-aged adults and seniors have concerns about their oral health and even feel self-conscious about the wear-and-tear their smiles have gone through over the years. Thankfully, with the help of your dentist and by adopting some healthy lifestyle habits, you can keep your smile shining or get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.
A Healthy Lifestyle = A Healthy Mouth
Nearly all facets of daily life affect your oral health, from quality of sleep to how much exercise you get during the day. Poor lifestyle choices are strongly linked to chronic tooth issues. This means proactively pursuing healthier life choices and addressing underlying health concerns will contribute positively to having a healthy mouth.
Here are a few lifestyle habits that will help improve your teeth and gums.
- Eat a Nutritious Diet A nutrient-rich diet low in sugar and processed food is needed for healthy teeth.
- Exercise Regularly Regular exercise reduces the risks of disease than can affect oral health, like diabetes and heart disease.
- Schedule Routine Health Screenings Routine health screenings can catch other health conditions than can impact your oral health.
- Practice Stress Reduction Grinding teeth and jaw clenching are common stress symptoms and can cause chips, cracks, and even teeth breakage.
- Stop Tobacco Habits Smoking and chewing tobacco is detrimental to your oral health.
It’s natural to speak with your doctor about ways to improve your health, but don’t forget about asking your dentist as well. Your dentist can offer wonderful advice about lifestyle changes for oral health that your doctor may not know.
Keep up a complete dental care regimen.
Every adult knows they need to brush their teeth twice a day and floss, but roughly 30% of individuals aren’t brushing often enough or for long enough. Your very first line of defense against gum disease, decay, and a plethora of other issues is how you care for your teeth on a daily basis. Without following a dentist-recommended daily routine, your smile may suffer.
A general regimen to follow includes:
- Brushing twice a day for two minutes, morning and night.
- Flossing at least once a day, ideally before bed.
- Using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Considering using an electric toothbrush to reduce joint stress.
- Finishing with an alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Chewing sugar-free xylitol gum after meals and snacks.
Depending on your current level of oral health, your daily regimen might be a little different. During your six-month checkup, be honest and don’t feel embarrassed about asking your dentist for their opinion on your current dental care regimen. The more they know, the better they can help.
Address problems with your teeth immediately.
The thing about dental issues is that they won’t go away with time, they’ll simply worsen.
A minor cavity can quickly turn into a serious decay issue that requires root canal therapy, or worse, a total extraction. In fact, by the time you experience a toothache, chances are serious damage has already occurred and reached the nerve—hence the pain.
If you’re in between your routine six-month check-ups, don’t wait until your next one. As soon as you notice any odd sensitivity or sensation, and especially if you’re experiencing pain, call your dentist and schedule an appointment. The sooner you can get in to see your dentist, the better!
On the other hand, if you already know you need treatment, don’t delay it as it will only get worse. If it’s finances that are troubling you, speak with your dental practice about ways you can afford your care. You may be able to apply for financing with a program like CareCredit.
Restorative Dental Treatments Enhance Your Smile
If your smile seems a little dull compared to how it once was, restorative dental treatments are a great way of addressing both the look and function of your teeth. Whether you’ve had teeth extracted in the past or your teeth have small chips or discoloration, restorative dental treatments are a great option.
Some of the main restorative dental treatments include:
- Crowns Tooth-colored crowns that cap a weakened tooth.
- Bridges Replace multiple missing teeth for a natural look.
- Implants Permanently replace individual or sets of teeth.
Dr. Harrison also offers implant-supported dentures and implant-supported fixed dentures for adults and senior patients. If you’re a candidate for dentures but you feel unsure or nervous about taking this step in your oral health journey, schedule a consultation to learn whether either option is right for you.
Cosmetic Dental Treatments for a Smile Makeover
It’s never too late to have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted, and cosmetic dentistry is the key to a smile you can feel confident about. Once considered a luxury, cosmetic dentistry is more popular than ever as adults and seniors of all ages seek out different services for enhancing and completely transforming their smiles.
Common cosmetic dental treatments include:
- Porcelain Veneers Completely change your smile with custom-molded porcelain overlays.
- Bonding A conservative alternative to porcelain veneers that uses tooth-colored resin instead.
- Tooth Whitening Instantly perk up your smile by removing staining and discoloration.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings Replace old silver fillings that distract from your beautiful smile with a tooth-color material.
Cosmetic dental treatments can be done on their own or combined with a restorative or preventative dental treatment plan. If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry, speak with your dentist to see what options may work for your smile and how you can get started.
Your dentist is ready to help you with your smile.
An important part of maintaining a beautiful smile throughout your life is finding a dentist that you can trust. A skilled, compassionate dentist experienced in general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry will be able to keep your mouth healthy while either enhancing your current smile or even completely transforming your smile into the one you’ve always wanted.
If you’re ready to learn more about aging gracefully with a beautiful smile, contact Millennium Dental and see how Dr. Jana Harrison can help you on your journey.