Preventing tooth loss requires dental patients to make a commitment for caring for their teeth and gums. Not just brushing their teeth, but flossing, seeing their dentist regularly, and eating smart.
If you want to take proactive steps to prevent tooth loss, your dental professional offers these suggestions.
Stop Tooth Loss Before it Begins
According to the website WebMD, several risk factors may lead to tooth loss. These include:
- Age (adults 20 to 64 average less than 25 permanent teeth)
- Gender (men tend to lose more teeth)
- Lack of professional dental care
- Lack of daily oral hygiene
- High blood pressure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
No one can change their age or gender. However, we all have control over our oral hygiene. In addition to brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups with your dental professional, you can help prevent tooth loss by watching your diet and taking care of your general health.
Diet Contributes to Tooth Loss
Well-balanced diets, low in sugar and starch and high in nutrients, are best for your oral health. They build stronger teeth and help prevent tooth loss.
However, you don’t have to live without the foods you love. It just means those filled with sugar, artificial sweetener, starch, and acid, require you to take extra care of your teeth. Here’s what you can do to help reduce your risk of tooth loss.
Reduce sugar intake. You’ve probably heard since you were a child that sugar is bad for you. As sugar attacks the enamel of your teeth like an acid, oral bacteria feed on it for energy. That means you’re wise to avoid traditional sweets, as well as food items high in natural sugar such as bananas and dried fruit – because they’re also high in starches. Experts suggest that starches may be harder on your teeth than sugar.
Reduce consumption of acidic foods. Prolonged exposure to acid damages your tooth enamel. You find large amounts in naturally acidic foods such as citrus fruit as well as sports drinks, fruit juices, and vinegar. That doesn’t mean you can’t consume them. However, your dental professional recommends taking steps to protect yourself. For instance, rinse your mouth out with water after eating or drink milk to help harden your enamel. More importantly, don’t brush immediately after you eat – the tooth enamel is soft. Wait at least 30 minutes and use fluoride toothpaste.
Choose healthy snacks. Just when you thought that all food was bad for your teeth, some items are actually beneficial. Nutritious foods, such as dairy products (without added sugar) and firm fruits (like apples and pears) are good. Sugarless gums can help boost dental health by acting like a toothbrush to clean teeth after eating. Some even suggest that the antioxidant properties of chocolate (especially dark chocolate) are beneficial.
The whole idea is that by taking the right proactive steps you can prevent tooth loss. Talk to your dental professional for more help with your dental care.