Courtesy of Lizzie Weakley
It used to be an accepted part of life that people would need dentures when they reached a certain age. However, dentures are no longer inevitable today. Taking proper care of your teeth can keep them in good shape for many years to come. If you want to maintain a full set of pearly whites as you age, here are four options to keep your teeth in your mouth and off the nightstand.
Braces aren’t just for teenagers anymore. If you missed out on straightening your teeth as a child or have teeth that have relapsed from previous treatment, orthodontic treatment can align your teeth and improve your bite. Teeth that are straight and aligned last much longer than teeth with crowding, which makes it difficult to clean them thoroughly, or malocclusions that cause wear and tear on the tooth’s surface.
Missing teeth often lead to more missing teeth. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone becomes weaker and surrounding teeth begin to loosen and shift. Protect the rest of your teeth by replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Implants can even be installed on teeth that have been missing for years. Unlike dentures, implants replace the tooth down to the root, which strengthens the jaw and helps to keep existing teeth in place.
Root Canals and Crowns
A damaged or abscessed tooth doesn’t automatically mean an extraction. Many teeth can be saved with root canal treatment and a crown. It might be tempting to save money in the short term by having a tooth pulled instead of getting a root canal, but that savings today will cost you in the future when the surrounding teeth begin to loosen.
Gum disease is a common cause of tooth loss. If you want to keep your natural teeth, it’s important to stay on top of gum care. Twice-yearly cleanings are essential for keeping your gums healthy, but sometimes aging and illness can cause periodontal disease despite good care. Prompt treatment, such as a gum graft or laser treatment, from a gum specialist called a periodontist can save your gums and your teeth.
Although these four options can help keep your aging teeth healthy and prevent tooth loss, regular visits to your dentist are the most important factor in keeping your teeth healthy at any age. Make an appointment today to get a cleaning and checkup and to learn more about retaining your smile into your golden years.