If you’ve been kind to your teeth over the years, have seen your dentist regularly, had the recommended work done and taken good care of your gums you might feel that now you can sit back and rest on your laurels during your middle age because your teeth are “done”. Not so fast Grasshopper, this situation requires more information.
Like your hair and your waistline, your “middle aged mouth” is not a static thing. Even though your teeth are naturally tough and strong, unless you eat only soft, bland food and avoid all stress your teeth will still tend to wear, rot, crack and move like the San Andreas Fault line even when you’re middle aged.
Biting down on an olive pit or a piece of bone is a no brainer, it’s off to Dr. Babin for a repair to your cracked or broken tooth. It’s the foods you may not even be aware of that are waiting to take their toll on your hard-earned pearly whites. For instance, even adults are potential victims of “enamel assassins” like the acid in soda pop and on penny candy sours and the acid in citrus fruits and fruit juices. Each of these wears away your tooth enamel, setting you up for cavities. A simple step like drinking milk or eating cheese to counteract the acid or rinsing your mouth with water after can make a big difference as to whether you end up on the golf course or in the dentists’ chair on a nice, sunny afternoon.
FYI – Oral cancer is most prevalent in those over 40 and since there is often no pain with early stages of oral cancer you need regular checkups by a trained professional to look for this sneaky, often deadly disease. Smoking and alcohol consumption are implicated in oral cancers, another reason to quit, and so is the sun. You may never have had to wear lip balm before but choosing one with a sunscreen is a great idea these days!
To sum up, as long as you have teeth you should have a dentist. Find a dentist you like and stick to a regime of regular checkups and dental care. Make sure you tell your dentist if you notice anything different about how your mouth feels, how you chew, if you have jaw pain or difficulty speaking. The more information your dentist has the more thorough he can be with your dental care.