Chewing is essential to our survival as a species. Without the ability to chew, pork ribs become more useful as a weapon than a source of calories.
So if you’re worried about the longevity of your teeth and want to learn how to preserve them, the best time to start is now.
You’re only given two sets of teeth in life, and the second set needs to last a long time. So how can you strengthen and fortify your teeth to last over the vast majority of your life?
You have to build new habits.
Some of the worst oral hygiene habits (like not brushing before bed or going weeks without flossing) will surely cause further damage if they’re not eliminated immediately from our daily routines. So we need to change those habits first. But once you create and follow good oral hygiene habits, you’ll naturally be on your way to stronger teeth.
As a side note, tooth loss is not necessarily a normal part of aging. Tooth loss occurs because of diseases of the mouth and the side effects of bad oral hygiene habits. You have a lot more control over the longevity of your teeth than you might think.
If you can include these 5 habits into your daily routine, you’ll preserve the strength of your teeth for a lifetime of chewing.
Cut Out the Sugar and Starch
Highly-processed and sugary foods like cereal, donuts, cookies, and cakes are the worst types of food for your teeth. The bacteria that live in your mouth feed off the sugar and starch in these foods and create an acidic environment in your mouth. This overproduction of acid can damage tooth enamel and weaken your teeth.
Get into the habit of limiting your overall sugar and starch intake. These foods rarely have nutritional benefit anyway and they can damage your teeth.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Although you may have heard some controversy around the subject, there is no doubt that fluoride protects tooth enamel and can reverse early signs of tooth decay. Fluoride restores the minerals in your teeth to strengthen your enamel.
If you want to have strong teeth for years to come, always use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Research proves that fluoride is safe in small amounts and does help to prevent tooth decay.
Use Proper Brushing Technique
We all know that brushing your teeth is a good thing. But is there a “right” way to brush?
First, you should brush for two minutes twice a day, according to the American Dental Association. This alone will help you manage tartar build up and protect your teeth.
Next, avoid brushing too fast or too hard. The enamel on your teeth can wear down over time, and brushing too fast or too hard only speeds up this process. Protect your teeth by brushing slowly and gently.
Prevent Grinding and Clenching
Stress is everywhere. But when that stress causes you to grind your teeth or clench your jaw, your teeth become weakened. If you’ve ever woken up with a sore jaw or unexplained headaches, you might be grinding or clenching at night.
If your symptoms are causing pain, your dentist might suggest trying a custom-fitted mouthguard. Using a mouthguard can help preserve the strength of your teeth. And with custom fitting, they’ll feel comfortable enough for overnight use—while preserving the shape of your smile.
Control GERD to Control Decay
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. When this occurs, stomach acid may back up further until it reaches the oral cavity. As a result, your mouth will become more acidic. The extra acid will reduce the enamel on your teeth and weaken them over time.
To prevent this, it’s important to evaluate your diet and medication plan with your doctor to control the symptoms of GERD. With GERD, the source of the problem is outside of the mouth, but the symptoms show up as a dental problem. Control the symptoms of GERD and you won’t have the dental side effects.
By creating new habits to avoid too much sugar and starch, use fluoride toothpaste, employ good brushing techniques, prevent grinding and clenching, and control GERD, you’ll be on your way to stronger teeth.