Healthy teeth and gums make it easier to eat well and enjoy delicious food. Several issues can affect your oral health, but proper ( Tips for Maintaining Your Teeth and Mouth ) care should keep your teeth and gums strong as you age.
Tips for Maintaining Your Teeth and Mouth
Decay of the Teeth
Enamel is a hard, outer coating that protects the teeth. Every day, a thin layer of bacteria known as dental plaque forms on your teeth. Plaque bacteria produce acids that can damage enamel and cause cavities. Brushing and flossing your teeth can help prevent decay, but once a cavity forms, a dentist must fill it to prevent further damage.
To keep your teeth from decaying, use fluoride toothpaste. If you have a higher risk of tooth decay (for example, if you have a dry mouth due to a condition or medications you take), you may require more fluoride. During an office visit, your dentist or dental hygienist may administer a fluoride treatment or instruct you to use a fluoride gel or mouth rinse at home.
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Plaque accumulation along and behind your gum line is the first sign of gum disease. The gum and bone that support your teeth are harmed by an infection brought on by plaque. Your gums may become red, painful, and more likely to bleed if you have a mild form of gum disease. Gingivitis is a condition that is frequently treated by daily brushing and flossing.
Periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease, requires dental care. This infection, if left untreated, can result in painful chewing issues, bleeding gums, and even tooth loss.
To stop gum illness:
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice daily.
- Regularly floss.
- Keep up with regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist. Any medical issues you have and the medications you take should be disclosed to the dentist.
- Consume a balanced diet.
- Give up smoking. Gum disease is more likely if you smoke.
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How to Care for Your Gums and Teeth
The proper way to floss and brush your teeth exists. Daily: three pictures demonstrating how to use dental floss
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently brush all surfaces of your teeth. Every three to four months, change your toothbrush.
- Short back-and-forth strokes and little circular motions should be used.
- Along your gum line, brush gently and with caution.
- To keep your mouth clean, lightly brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper.
- Use dental floss, pre-threaded flossers, a water flosser, or a comparable tool to clean in between your teeth. Plaque and residual food that a toothbrush can’t reach are removed in this way.
- After you floss, rinse.
It may be challenging to hold and use a toothbrush for people with arthritis or other illnesses that restrict hand motion. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use a toothbrush that is electric or battery-operated.
- A larger-handled toothbrush should be purchased.
- With the aid of a large elastic band, secure the toothbrush handle to your hand.
If flossing or brushing makes your mouth hurt or your gums bleed, consult a dentist. A floss holder can be useful if you have problems flossing. Ask your dentist to demonstrate how to properly use floss.
Dentures are sometimes required to replace severely damaged teeth or teeth lost due to gum disease. It is possible to replace one or more lost teeth using partial dentures. At first, dentures could feel weird. To ensure the dentures fit properly at first, your dentist might need to see you frequently. Your gums will change form over time, and you might need to replace or alter your dentures. Make sure to leave these changes in your dentist’s hands.
When wearing dentures, use caution because it could be more difficult for you to feel hot foods and beverages or detect bones in your food. It could be simpler to learn to eat with dentures if you:
- Begin by eating soft, non-sticky foods.
- Food should be cut into little pieces.
- Utilize both sides of your mouth to slowly chew.
Keep your dentures clear of food that can stain them or give you poor breath. Avoid eating anything crunchy or tiny that could get stuck under ( Tips for Maintaining Your Teeth and Mouth ) your dentures and irritate your gums. Every day, use a denture-care product to brush your dentures, and at night, soak them in water or a denture-cleansing solution. To avoid swollen gums, make sure to keep them out of your mouth while you sleep.
When you don’t spit enough to keep your mouth moist, you develop dry mouth. It may be challenging to speak, swallow, taste, and even chew food. Your chances of cavities, oral fungus infections, and tooth decay can all be increased by having a dry mouth. This issue can be brought on by numerous common medications. For instance, medications for depression, high blood pressure, and bladder control difficulties may induce dry mouth.
You can take actions that might be helpful. Drink some water or something without sugar. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices, and don’t smoke. Skip the spicy and salty foods. A little tart sugar-free gum or hard candy might be helpful. To keep your mouth moist, your dentist or doctor might advise using artificial saliva.
Any area of the mouth or throat, including the tongue, can become the first site of oral cancer. People over the age of 40 are more prone to experience it. Your dentist can check for oral cancer symptoms during a routine dental examination. Pain is typically not a disease’s first sign. Before the disease spreads, treatment is most effective. You should visit your dentist every six months for routine oral cancer screenings even if you have lost all of your natural teeth.
There are several ways to reduce your chance of developing mouth cancer:
- Avoid using any tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff.
- If you do consume alcohol, do so sparingly.
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- Scientists are still learning about the long-term health impacts of electronic cigarettes (or “e-cigarettes”) because they are a relatively new invention. However, we are aware that the vapor from e-cigarettes contains carcinogens. ( Tips for Maintaining Your Teeth and Mouth )
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