As we get older, our smiles begin to change. Perhaps it is the sagging of the skin around our face, the new wrinkles that appear around the corner of our eyes when we grin, or the fact that our teeth have started to yellow. Whatever it is, it can be frustrating for those who love their smile and want to retain a youthful appearance. But this doesn’t mean we need to live with the changes that will inevitably come. With some healthy lifestyle choices to maintain oral health and a great cosmetic Bee Cave dentist, you can fall in love with your smile again, even as you age.
How Our Oral Health Changes as We Get Older
We’ve all felt (or heard) the creaking sound in our knees when we get out of bed in the morning. The pain in our lower backs if we stand up too quickly. And we’ve felt, too, that change in our face and our body. But the truth is our smile will need some extra attention as we age.
Though our teeth are powerful, they aren’t immune to wear and tear. All the biting, chewing, and grinding of food throughout the years can take its toll, wearing away the outer layer of the enamel on our teeth. And, since our teeth’s surfaces are exposed to acidic foods, it can exacerbate the issue, dissolving that critical layer of enamel. When the enamel on our teeth wears away, it can make us susceptible to more serious dental concerns. For example, a crack in the tooth’s outer surface can expose the pulp contained within, leaving it vulnerable to inflammation and irritation. Plus, as the nerves at our tooth’s core lose sensitivity each year, the problem can persist long before we notice any pain or discomfort.
But as we alluded to earlier, you don’t have to live with teeth you don’t love. Combining cosmetic dental treatments and restorative dentistry can help us fall in love with our smile again. Here are some other ways you can keep your smile in top shape.
1. Don’t let your oral care routine fall by the wayside.
Some people mistakenly believe they don’t need to brush or floss as often once they get older. This is far from the truth. As the enamel begins to wear away, taking good care of your oral health is more important than ever. So, whatever you do, don’t stop brushing twice a day, flossing daily, or rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash.
2. Visit your dentist regularly for a professional dental cleaning.
Just as it is critical to keep brushing and flossing, those professional dental cleanings and oral evaluations remain as important as ever. Be sure to request an appointment with the best Bee Cave dentist at least once every six months. During your appointment, we’ll conduct a professional dental cleaning to rid your teeth of any harmful calculus that has built up since your last appointment. We’ll also look for any changes in your mouth since your last visit and will determine if any restorative work is recommended.
3. Eat a healthy diet rich in tooth-friendly foods.
Just as some foods are better for your body than others, certain foods are better for your oral health. Eat your daily goal of cheese, milk, and yogurt to give your body calcium and keep your bones and teeth strong. Ensure you get a daily dose of celery, carrots, apples, pears, nuts, fatty fish, and lean proteins. And know that sugary and starchy foods can increase your risks of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
4. Get out and exercise a few times a week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults should get 150 minutes of exercise each week. So, go for a 30-minute walk, try weight lifting with light weights to help you burn fat and build lean muscle, or try water aerobics. Whatever fitness plan you adopt, seek guidance from your primary care physician. A regular routine that includes exercise can help boost your mood and get those endorphins going.
5. Keep doing the things you love.
Finding hobbies and activities you love is vital throughout all phases of your life. But when you are older, though you may feel you are just fine on your own, social interaction can actually help you live longer. That time spent with others can help reduce the risk of dementia and can decrease the chances of developing (or worsening) high blood pressure, arthritis, or cardiovascular illnesses.
6. Invest in some new dental tools.
As we get older, it is normal for us to lose some of the dexterity that we took for granted. Look at the electric toothbrushes and water flossers the next time you are in the dental aisle of your local supermarket. These devices can help you access those hard-to-reach areas in your mouth to better scrub away the bacteria that has built up since your last brushing. Water flossers are also a great tool to help loosen food particles wedged between your teeth.
Tomasik Family Dental welcomes new patients.
If you are looking for a new dental home, we hope you’ll request an appointment with Tomasik Family Dental. Not only are we accepting new patients, but we strive to be the best dentist for all ages in Bee Cave, Texas. We know what it takes to be a great family dentist, and we’re ready for you to experience the Tomasik Family Dental difference for yourself.