Natural Teeth Are Worth Keeping!

posted: October 26, 2016

There are many misconceptions when it comes to our smiles. For example, people often assume that seeing blood in the sink when brushing is a good sign. (It’s NOT!) When seeing a new patient who has a problem tooth, however, one of the most troubling things I can hear is, “I’ll lose my teeth as I age anyway so just pull it.”

While our grandparents may have assumed they would eventually end up in dentures, today’s dentistry knows better. Using proper techniques for twice-daily brushing, daily flossing and keeping the mouth moist means you should be able to enjoy a naturally-healthy smile for a lifetime.

Studies have shown there are tremendous benefits to keeping your natural teeth. Since teeth are positioned in the jaw bone, they help to maintain its mass. Without tooth roots that keep the jaw stimulated, the bone begins to shrink. This can lead to eventual tooth loss.

Aging and tooth loss do NOT go hand-in-hand.

Aging and tooth loss do NOT go hand-in-hand.

It is a fact that people with their natural teeth live ten years longer than denture wearers, on average. This is likely due to the ability to eat a healthy diet and feeling confident to stay socially active. Because of the worry that surrounds denture wearers when it comes to eating and laughing, the sense of insecurity causes many to avoid social situations.

Want to keep your teeth for your lifetime? You can! Be committed to the following steps and you will greatly increase your potential to have a naturally-healthy smile:

• Think the brush-&-floss routine is a dated way to keep teeth healthy? It’s still the gold standard in keeping oral bacteria to a minimum. Brush with a soft to medium bristle tooth brush using a fluoridated toothpaste. (Never use abrasive substances to brush, such as baking soda, which can wear away precious tooth enamel.) Use a swirling motion rather than scrub teeth back and forth. Floss daily or use a water or electronic flosser. Finish up by brushing your tongue or using a tongue scrapper to uproot millions of oral bacteria embedded in the tongue.

Straight teeth are easier to keep healthy. When teeth are crowded and/or crooked, bacteria can easily accumulate in tight angles that become bacterial breeding grounds. Straight teeth are not only easier to keep clean, they support proper bite alignment. This minimizes your potential for stress on the TMJ (jaw joints). Strain on these joints can lead to headaches, night-time grinding and clenching, worn teeth and cracked or chipped teeth.

• Keep your mouth moist. A dry mouth provides an ideal environment for oral bacterial growth. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and limit foods and beverages that are caffeinated and drying to oral tissues. These include coffee, tea, colas and chocolate as well as spicy foods. If you take medications that are drying to the mouth, ask your Doctor about less-drying alternatives. Also, consider using an oral rinse formulated specifically to replenish moisture. Sugarless gum can help to promote saliva flow as well.

• Limit carbs and sugar. The acids produced in the mouth by carbohydrates and sugary foods and beverages super-charge bacterial growth and are damaging to tooth enamel. Limit these for the good of your smile and your waistline!

• Be committed to your 6-month exams and cleanings. These visits are designed to create a periodic ‘clean slate’ for teeth. During these visits, our Hygienists remove calculus (or tartar) that form the cement-hard bacterial colonies attached to teeth. We also perform an annual Oral Cancer screening using early-detection technology. These screenings are very important since Oral Cancer is one of the deadliest of all cancers with one of the worst survival rates.

Our goal is to help you keep your natural teeth healthy and IN your mouth all of your life! When problems arise, we will recommend treatment to protect and extend the life of your teeth. However, when teeth are lost, we can explain your best options for replacement and to avoid putting other teeth at risk.

If you feel you have a mouthful of problems or have already lost natural teeth, let’s halt the process. Call toll free 1-877-966-9009 for a no charge consultation. Here, we’ll discuss how we can restore your oral health for a lasting, healthy smile!