Do you look older than you feel? If you’ve tried anti-aging products but something is still missing, you might need to look at your teeth. Changes in your body when you age can affect your teeth, as can the accumulation of daily wear. Dr. James Fondriest, a cosmetic dentist serving Chicago’s North Shore, can help you keep your teeth healthy and beautiful, no matter what your age.
Over the next two days, we will discuss how aging can affect your dental health, and what you can do to slow down the aging process on your teeth.
Acid Erosion and Aging of Teeth
Acid erosion is a major cause of aging in teeth. Sugary and starchy foods are the culprits behind acid erosion. When you consume these foods, the simple carbohydrates ferment, causing the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids that can erode your tooth enamel, forming small pits that are vulnerable to tooth decay.
To prevent acid erosion:
- Avoid consuming refined sugars, especially those found in sports drinks and sodas, both of which also contain acids
- Avoid in-between-meal snacks because they can cause high levels of acid in your mouth for a prolonged period of time. If you do snack, eat firm, fibrous fruits and vegetables, like apples or celery, or cheese.
- Chew sugarless gum when you crave sweets. When you chew, you increase your saliva flow, which helps neutralize acids and clean your mouth. You should also chew sugarless gum or rinse your mouth with water after meals, especially when you eat something starchy or sugary.
- Brush your teeth twice daily, for at least two minutes each time, and floss once daily. Proper, daily oral hygiene will reduce bacteria levels in your mouth. But wait at least 30 minutes after eating sugary, starchy, or acidic foods because your enamel needs time to harden.
- Visit your dentist every six months for dental checkups.
Mechanical Wear and Tooth Aging
Teeth’s main purpose is biting and breaking down food so that your body can digest it more easily. Aging itself does not cause teeth to become more brittle, but if you continue to chew and bite with a damaged tooth, you are only worsening the issue.
Particularly susceptible to serious damage are teeth that have undergone root canal therapy or have fillings because they have already lost part of their natural structure.
Bruxism (grinding and/or clenching), is also a serious issue because it can eventually wear down the biting surfaces of your teeth.
How to prevent mechanical wear:
- Avoid eating ice and other hard foods because they can wear down the tooth enamel.
- Be cautious when eating food that is pitted or deboned, because pits and bones could crack already vulnerable teeth and cause damage to healthy teeth.
- Schedule regular dental appointments. Dr. Fondriest or his hygienist can check for signs of damage, decay, or dental restorations that need to be replaced. He can also check for the signs of bruxism.
If the above issues have already caused your teeth to age and become damaged, Dr. Fondriest offers a variety of cosmetic and restorative dental procedures to repair them and make you look years younger. Call our Lake Forest, IL, dental practice today 847.234.0517. We serve patients in the North Shore and greater Chicago areas.