Most adults have 28-32 teeth, depending on whether or not they had their wisdom teeth removed. Having a full set of teeth means you can bite, chew, and talk with ease — but unfortunately, about 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth.
Tooth loss happens with decay and injury, becoming increasingly common among older adults. The good news? It doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging.
Prerna Mathur DDS, Saeed Ahmadi DDS, Dennis Reidmiller, DDS, and our team at Trident Dental specialize in comprehensive oral health care for all ages. By taking steps to maintain good oral health, you can reduce your risk of tooth loss and enjoy a healthy, confident smile for years to come.
Here are five ways to prevent tooth loss as you enter your golden years.
1. Brush and floss regularly
The most important thing you can do to prevent tooth loss is to maintain good oral hygiene throughout your life. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once daily to remove plaque and food particles between your teeth.
Strong oral hygiene habits help prevent cavities and gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in older adults.
2. Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of tooth loss, particularly as you get older.
Smoking threatens oral health, including permanent stains, gum disease, and oral cancers. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and dry mouth, which further increases your risk of tooth loss.
If you don’t smoke, don’t pick up the habit. If you do smoke, ask our team about smoking cessation.
3. Eat a balanced diet
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is essential for overall wellness, and eating a healthy diet also helps prevent tooth loss. Fruits, vegetables, and other healthy options give your body the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain strong teeth and gums.
What you don’t eat is just as important as what you do eat. Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can accelerate enamel erosion and tooth decay, so limiting these things can help keep your teeth healthier.
4. Exercise and manage stress
When it comes to oral health, you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of physical activity. Regular exercise boosts circulation, which is critical for strengthening bones, teeth, and gums as you age.
Along with exercise, other stress management techniques, like meditation and yoga, can also benefit your smile. Teeth grinding and clenching are common stress-related habits, and they can make your teeth break down over time. Practicing stress management helps lower anxiety and reduces the likelihood of grinding or clenching your teeth.
5. Visit your dentist regularly
Last but not least, regular dental checkups are crucial at every age. Routine cleanings remove plaque and tartar to prevent cavities, decay, and tooth loss. Plus, regular appointments make it easier for our dentists to detect and treat oral health problems early before they become more serious and compromise your smile.
Maintaining good oral health is a lifelong commitment, but it’s worth it — and you don’t have to do it alone. Book your next dentist appointment at Trident Dental in Houston, Texas. Call us at 281-975-4915 or request an appointment online now.