Some of us just really hate to go to the dentist and avoid it at all costs. That avoidance might be costing you your teeth. Here is a little statistic that might inspire you: 30 percent of Americans over 60 no longer have their teeth.
OK, that is a little frightening but allow me to broaden the perspective of my scare tactics - our generation's teeth have seriously benefited from greater access to better dental care. Dental experts are predicting that the rate of toothless retirees will be substantially lower by the time we are of age to join AARP.
To protect your teeth, not only should you brush and floss twice daily, but you should also visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings. Don't put off fillings or crowns because the delay can put you at risk for losing your teeth later. It is kind of like a pay it forward situation for your mouth, because the many dental problems are preventable if you just listen to your teeth.
Here are some other ways to put your money where your mouth is:
If you have recently taken up a contact sport like boxing or kickboxing wear a mouth guard.
Same goes if you are a jaw clencher or a tooth grinder. Your dentist can make a very sexy (do you feel the irony?) mouth guard for you that will protect your teeth during the dangerous act of sleeping.
Pregnancy hormones affect your gums, so don't skip your dental appointments when you are preggo.
Some medications, like certain antihistamines and antidepressants, may cause dry mouth, which inhibits the break down of plaque. Talk to your dentist about ways to help reduce the damage this might cause.