Your teeth change dramatically throughout your life. They never really stop moving, and how they move is determined by a variety of factors. These factors, such as genetics, oral habits, and hygiene, how your wisdom teeth develop, bruxism, and chronic illness, can be both in and out of your control. Your teeth change over time due to ageing and wear. However, it is still important to understand why this occurs and what you can do if it does.
What Might Change
- Your teeth will shift as you age, your body will lose bone mass, and your gums will recede.
- Your top teeth may appear shorter as they wear down, and your bottom teeth may appear taller as the gum tissue recedes. Because your bottom front teeth are more prone to shifting, you may notice significant changes in your smile.
- None of it is inherently harmful if you maintain good hygiene habits, but it is ongoing, so you must be more deliberate in your care.
Medical Conditions and Medications
Some chronic conditions and medications can alter the development of your Teeth and gums . Medication side effects can range from dry mouth to changes in blood pressure to bone loss. Anything that alters the way your body functions can have an impact on your teeth.
Having a dry mouth for an extended period of time, for example, can cause problems in your mouth and throat. It’s critical to understand how your medications will affect your entire body, including your mouth.
Your teeth are also not the same as your bones in your body. When teeth are damaged, they do not heal and require a visit to our office to be repaired. If you are experiencing pain or persistent discomfort, you should seek medical attention.
What You Could Do
- Your good habits are good for a reason. You can keep brushing and flossing as usual because these are still the most effective ways to combat tooth decay.
- How to Brush your teeth:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque, which causes gum disease and tooth decay.
- Select a soft brush with rounded bristles that will allow you to reach your back teeth.
- Every three months, replace your toothbrush.
- Brush your teeth in gentle circles at a 45-degree angle. Scrubing will cause your gums to recede.
- Clean the entire surface of each tooth.
- Take your time: 2 to 3 minutes should be sufficient.
- Brush your tongue.
- If you’re unsure whether you’re brushing properly, consider using an electric toothbrush.
- If you have arthritis or another health condition that makes it difficult to hold your toothbrush, enlarge the handle with a sponge, several layers of foil, or a bicycle handle grip.
- Flossing technique:
- Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas that your toothbrush cannot.
- Take a piece of floss the length of your arm. Wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about two inches of space between them. Guide the floss between your teeth with your index fingers.
- After sliding the floss between your teeth, Wrap the floss in a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and slide it gently under the gum line. Wipe the tooth two or three times from base to tip.
- Floss each tooth on both sides. Don’t forget about the back of your molars. As you move from tooth to tooth, change to a new section of floss.
- If your fingers become tangled while flossing, try using a plastic floss holder or dental tape instead.
- If you have full or partial dentures, use a rinse to clean them every day. It’s also a good idea to take your dentures out at night and for a few hours during the day, if possible.
- If you smoke, look for alternatives that will assist you in quitting. Aside from the increased risk of oral and lung cancer, smoking can significantly increase your risk of gum disease.
Finally, you should continue to see your dentist twice a year, because changes in your oral health can occur at a faster rate as you get older. If you haven’t seen us in a while, you can schedule an appointment online!