Bertagnolli Dental provides our clients with high-quality dental care at every stage of life, along with vital information such as understanding tooth wearing as we age. Everyone experiences gradual tooth wear. Usually, it is only addressed during the later years when problems associated with tooth wearing begin to appear. Fortunately, early intervention by your dentist can often prevent the most common issues. Keep reading to get a better understanding of how to keep your teeth healthy.
One common misconception is that tooth wearing is only a problem in older people. Tooth wear is more commonly seen in older people because they simply have had more time to wear down their teeth from general, everyday use. Many younger people also experience issues related to tooth wearing as opposed to tooth decay. Depending on your diet, oral hygiene and tooth grinding habits, wear and tear on your teeth can occur at different rates.
At least three times a day we use our teeth to tear apart and break up food in our mouth. The biting surfaces of all your teeth and the molars especially are put under a lot of pressure when grinding down tough meat, crunchy vegetables, and chewy bread. As your teeth grind against each other, they gradually wear down the hard enamel surface. Once this enamel is lost, it cannot be replaced by the body, making tooth wear a continuous and inevitable phenomenon.
The best approach to avoiding problems related to tooth wear is to slow down the rate of attrition experienced by your teeth. Bad dental hygiene habits can weaken the enamel on your teeth and make the surfaces more susceptible to wear from regular use. Brushing twice a day, flossing, and avoiding a highly sugary or acidic diet will set you up for strong teeth in the long run. A diet rich in calcium and exposure to fluoride through your drinking water or toothpaste will ensure your teeth are rich in the minerals needed to maintain resistant enamel.
Tooth wearing is often accelerated in certain people who have the habit of nail biting, pencil chewing, or teeth grinding. These can be unconscious mechanisms to relieve stress or tension. Often teeth grinding or clenching happens while the person is sleeping, without them even realizing it. Dentists can create a special dental mouth guard for night time use to prevent grinding damage during sleep. Always avoid biting non-food items like fingernails, pens, and pencils. Never use your teeth as tools to open bottles, cut string or tear packaging.
Keeping your teeth healthy and functional for your entire lifetime is possible. Understanding tooth wearing as we age will help you to avoid bad habits and care for your teeth today. Remember to consult regularly with your dentist and to continue getting annual dental check-ups. At Bertagnolli Dental, we can offer more information and advice on preventing tooth wearing throughout life. Do not hesitate to contact us if you think you may be grinding your teeth at night or are due for a general check-up.