Tooth loss is becoming more common in the United States. In fact, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, over 30 million people in this country are missing all their teeth. Whether it is due to an accident or disease, tooth loss can do a lot more than affect your physical appearance. Missing teeth can also make it more challenging to eat and speak. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent this dental problem. Here are seven ways to avoid tooth loss:
Watch Out for Gum Disease
If you want to keep your teeth for a lifetime, you must take good care of your gums. Forgetting to floss regularly can cause plaque to build up underneath your gum tissue, making them swollen and red. If you develop advanced gum disease, your gums will eventually pull away from your teeth, resulting in tooth loss, according to Colgate. If your gums have been redder or more tender than usual, you should make an appointment to see your dentist. He or she can decide on the best treatment plan.
Stop Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth is a huge no-no. If you have a habit of doing this, you can eventually wear down the enamel of your teeth, making them susceptible to chips and cracks. If you think you grind your teeth because you are stressed, find healthier ways to manage your anxiety. For instance, try meditating or practicing yoga. If you tend to clench down on your teeth at night, ask your dentist about getting a custom mouth guard.
Limit Sugary Treats
Eating too many sugary treats does not just increase your risk of diabetes; it can also make you more susceptible to tooth loss. After you eat something sweet, the sugar will linger on the surfaces of your teeth and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Once the bacteria forms plaque, your pearly whites will be at risk of decay. If you do have a craving for a sweet treat, at least remember to drink a glass of water afterward.
It is definitely easier said than done, but quitting smoking can have a positive effect on your oral health. Smoking tobacco can hinder adequate blood supply to your gums, increasing your risk of infection. As mentioned earlier, gum disease can increase your risk of tooth loss. If you quit this habit, you can protect your teeth and improve your overall health.
Do not Use Your Teeth as a Tool
Teeth are pretty sharp, so they are effective at cutting thread, removing caps and even loosening knots. However, using your pearly whites as a tool can weaken them over time. Chewing food is the only thing you should do with your teeth.
Be Gentle When Brushing Your Teeth
It is possible to brush your teeth improperly. If you use excessive force while brushing, you can wear down the enamel of your teeth. To avoid damage to your teeth, always brush your teeth in soft, gentle strokes. Also, be sure to use a soft bristle toothbrush.
Be Careful With Contact Sports
Playing contact sports, such as football or hockey, is a great way to stay in shape and build leaderships skills. However, if the ball hits your mouth, you are in danger of losing your teeth. Wearing a mouth guard during sports can help protect them.
The idea of losing your teeth can be scary, so it is important to take good care of them. If you follow these helpful tips, you will be less likely to experience tooth loss in the future. For more information about preventing tooth loss, contact a professional dental clinic like Schirmer Dentistry.