When governments around the world announced their various stay-at-home orders, it sent many of us into a panic. We suddenly realized how dependent we were on a functioning society to keep our teeth in good condition. Trips to the dentist to resolve pain and deal with alignment issues were the norm.
For the past few months, though, that hasn’t been the case. Unless you’ve got an emergency, you can’t get dental help. And it’s been causing us a lot of concern and worry.
Today we’re going to look at how the boomer generation can look after their teeth better. Some of the messages here will probably be stuff you already know, but a lot of it will be new.
Remember if you have been following me I had a few major tooth issues and avoidance did not make it better.
Don’t Brush Too Often
Brushing your teeth is necessary to protect them and your gums against infection. Some people, however, take this too far, applying toothpaste four or more times per day. If that sounds like you, then you probably need to cut back slightly. Brushing too often can remove enamel from the surface of the teeth, increasing the risk of infection later on. Plus, it can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which discolors teeth.
Straighten Your Teeth
If you thought that crooked teeth was a purely cosmetic problem, think again. Teeth that are out of alignment put you at an increased risk of infection because of all the little nooks and crannies where bacteria can develop. When you straighten your teeth, you remove these opportunities, allowing you to keep a healthier mouth for longer.
I got braces in my Thirty’s and it was the best decision I made. Tooth health has improved, brushing and cleaning is easier and my confidence soared. In fact I still wear my retainer religiously.
Brushing your teeth hard might seem like a good idea. After all, you want to remove as much plaque and bacteria as possible. Unfortunately, habits like these aren’t good for you, and they could make your teeth weaker in the long-term.
The professional advice is to brush your teeth how you might polish an eggshell. You want to apply a small amount of pressure, allowing the bristles of the toothbrush to penetrate all of the various gaps and recesses, scooping out the gunk.
Don’t Drink Soda/Pop
If there’s one beverage to keep out of your diet, it’s pop or soda depending on where you live. This drink delivers a double-whammy of harm to your teeth. Not only is it high in sugar, but it is also very acidic. Sugar leads to gum infections and tooth decay. At the same time, the acid slowly wears down your teeth, exposing the internal dentin over time.
Even if you drink diet soda, you’re not safe. It might not contain any sugar, but it is still acidic, especially if your drink of choice is cola. This is my major vice, Diet pop/soda every day. I justify the habit because I drink through a straw but that is not scientifically proven to change anything (oops)
Tartar is plaque that has hardened and calcified. It is revolting stuff that looks like a yellowy-white deposit sitting in the gaps between your teeth. Where possible, you should remove this regularly.
The best way to do this is to visit the hygienist. They use a range of tools to scoop it out, removing it from areas between your teeth. Brushing twice per day, focusing on all surfaces, will help too.
Remember, smile wide and smile bright.