6 ways to age-proof your smile

6 ways to age-proof your smile

To avoid tooth and gum problems in the future, you need to start looking after them properly today. And there’s more to it than just brushing twice daily…

Whether it’s that first strand of grey hair or the laughter lines that brighten up your smile, our age tends to make itself known in various ways. And it can be a beautiful thing.

A sign that’s never attractive, though – and is totally avoidable – is a mouth full of yellow, rotting teeth.

From the foods we choose to the way we brush, if you get into bad habits early in life, oral health issues like gum disease, dental decay and tooth loss will rear their ugly heads as you age.

Even those who pride themselves on a healthy diet may be at risk – nutritious foods such as fruit juices are high in acids, which can wreak havoc on tooth enamel.

And did you know that more than 50% of toothpastes are not designed for the high acid levels in modern diets? As a result, approximately 50% of the population may be affected by significant enamel loss, with some losing up to 10% of enamel a year.

Enamel enemies: what to avoid

Fruit juice

You may think of it as an easy way to get your vitamins, but fruit juices, especially orange juice, can be extremely acidic – which is bad news for your tooth enamel. Try switching to water instead.

Supplements

While great for your oral health, chewable, acidic Vitamin C supplements can cause enamel erosion if consumed in excess. Choose supplements that are taken with water to reduce your chances of enamel erosion.

Sugar

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: sugar rots your teeth. It reacts with the bacteria in plaque to cause harmful acids, which erode your enamel. It’s not great for your waistline either, so try to cut down as much as you can.

Healthy habits to start today

End meals with cheese or milk

The dairy helps to neutralise any acids left over from your meal. Plus, it contains calcium to help strengthen teeth – bonus!

Wait 30 minutes before brushing

Especially if you’ve just eaten acidic foods, which softens the enamel. Waiting 30 minutes allows the enamel to toughen up again before you brush.

Use a specialist toothpaste

Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste fights plaque and food acids to give you a healthier mouth and stronger teeth than if you used a regular toothpaste. It’s the No.1 brand used by dentists worldwide and will make a real difference to your smile in the long term.

For more teeth-brushing tips, see our article Seven mistakes you could be making when brushing your teeth.

Have you suffered with damaged teeth or gums? Let us know the lessons you’ve learnt about taking care of your teeth in the comments section below.

^50% of the population in the UK, Bartlett 2013

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