According to Dr. Peter Urbanik at Brookview Dental in Sylvania, Ohio, women over the age of thirty-five can make similar missteps in caring for their dental health. Dr. Urbanik cites the following list of mistakes as those he routinely sees during the course of his practice.
Infrequent check-ups. Twice yearly cleanings and oral screenings are essential for individuals of all ages. For women over thirty-five, this bi-yearly check-up becomes even more important in the prevention of teeth, gum, and mouth disease. Women need to understand the impact minor lapses have upon their overall dental and physical health. Even flossing incorrectly can precipitate gum disease, which left untreated, will eventually bring on unnecessary tooth loss.
Consuming too much caffeine in one’s daily diet. People may realize that coffee and tea are staining to the teeth; however, most do not understand that excessive caffeine contributes to grinding of the teeth as well.
Misses the connection between headaches and dentistry. If you have frustrating headaches and are having trouble getting resolution from your physician, ask a dentist for a consultation for TMJ.
Failing to see the importance of replacing missing back teeth. Whenever a tooth is removed, the empty space needs to be filled with a replacement. Otherwise, the bite will cave in and cause premature aging of the face even when an individual’s teeth are not visible.
Underestimating the ease of straightening teeth with today’s treatment options such as invisalign or clear orthodontics. Invisalign is an orthodontic tooth straightening system based on removable see-through retainers instead of braces and wires. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the case, but can be as brief as three months.
Lack of proactive steps to prevent wear. Bite guards play a key part in maintaining healthy teeth and gums by preventing undo stress as a result of grinding. Women who grind their teeth without the protective benefit of a night guard will prematurely lose the youthful curve of their teeth as they become worn and take on a flat appearance.
Not whitening stained or discolored teeth. Bleaching is now inexpensive and very effective. It is also one of the simplest methods to enhance and emphasize a person’s smile.
Neglecting to see the connection between smoking and good oral health. Beyond the negative aesthetics of stained and discolored teeth, women who smoke mask worsening gum problems that can result in premature (and preventable) tooth loss.
Still smoking! Not deterred by the cautions cited above? Then consider this warning: mouth, throat, and tongue cancer.
Does not smile enough. “Happiness is what life is all about,” says Dr. Urbanik. So, put that set of multi-functional hardware to its best use by sharing universal goodwill in the simplest way…offering a heartfelt smile.
(Dr. Peter Urbanik practices at Brookview Dental located on Sylvania Avenue next to Southview High School, Sylvania, Ohio.)
Reader’s note: The above list not presented in order of importance. Women should always seek out their own dentist for specific advice.