The ultimate guide to great teeth: How to keep your whites pearly as you get older
As we all know, ageing is an inevitable part of life and whilst we are aware that it can affect our hair and skin, we should also take note of the effects that can occur on our teeth.
The effects of ageing are rarely discussed when it involves teeth, yet there are several challenges that ought to be brought to light in order to protect them and keep them looking healthy throughout the years.
From discolouration and gum recession causing sensitivity, to erosion and lack of saliva, there are several challenges that arise as we get older, signifying that the importance of taking care of our teeth only increases over time.
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to ensure that your teeth remain protected from the effects of ageing, and to help you do this, here is our five-step dental health care plan for those wishing to age well.
1. Use an electric toothbrush
Whilst these innovative toothbrushes are already quite popular, many older readers may be using more traditional options. Even though these may be effective when used correctly, chances are that it won’t be as effective as an electric version.
Just imagine not getting tired when brushing your teeth; sounds nice doesn’t it? Using an electric toothbrush means that most of the hard work will be done for you and will usually be more effective at removing the unwanted plaque from the surface of your teeth.
To protect your teeth effectively and see results, make sure you brush for a minimum of two minutes and repeat twice a day. The latest models of the electric toothbrush have inbuilt timers that will notify you once you’ve done enough and are easier to hold — perfect if you have arthritis.
2. Flossing is key
Bacteria can quickly build up on your teeth and affects the enamel, therefore we recommend flossing as this can easily remove this build-up and, in the long-run, can help you avoid discolouration.
For the very best results, try to routinely floss at least once a day before you brush your teeth, and soon you will successfully improve plaque control — doing this in the evening will have better results due to the build-up of bacteria throughout the day.
3. Protect against sensitivity
As we age, our teeth naturally become more sensitive, and this is typically due to the gum recession that occurs and ultimately exposes the roots of our teeth, making them sensitive to acidity and changing temperatures.
If you would like to indulge in the deliciousness of ice-creams and iced drinks, then your best option is to use a toothpaste specifically designed to combat sensitivity; if you are already using this, then you’re on the right track, and if not, then purchasing one soon will work wonders.
In order to enhance the effects of the desensitising toothpaste, take a pea-sized amount on your finger and rub it onto your sensitive areas after brushing every evening and leave it on overnight — do this and expect improvements in a matter of weeks.
4. Keep them pearly white
It’s no surprise that after decades of eating amazing food, your teeth are no longer the pearly whites you were born with.
Discolouration naturally occurs over time and whilst over-the-counter products may remove superficial stains, the truth is that they won’t actually whiten your teeth. Visiting your dentist can be beneficial as you will be offered whitening gels as well as several other treatments that can whiten your teeth.
According to OGLF, LED teeth whitening has been created to use safe wavelengths of blue light to achieve a speedy whitening process and now this technology is available to use safely at home; the perfect way for you to achieve beautifully white teeth quickly and from the comfort of your own home!
5. The importance of saliva
A lesser-known fact is that we begin to produce less saliva once we approach our sixties. This can have a significant effect on our dental health, producing less saliva means that we begin to lose our first line of defence against tooth decay and bad breath.
Don’t panic though, as there are ways to compensate, such as staying hydrated. By drinking water throughout the day, you can support your saliva’s battle against bacteria. Similarly, stimulating your mouth to produce more saliva by chewing gum or sucking on a pastille can really help, however, make sure that it’s sugar-free!
Although somewhat tedious, self-care is incredibly important when it comes to ageing and we should routinely incorporate these steps into our lifestyles, especially if we aim to age gracefully.