Mother and BabyHow old will you be on your next birthday? Your mouth may be a different age on that day. Like many parts of your body, mouths can age more rapidly or more slowly than your calendar age, depending on a number of factors, including genetics and your lifestyle. People who eat unhealthily or neglect their oral hygiene, often notice that their mouth age is indeed older than their actual age. Your Waco dentist, Dr. Corbet Locke, discusses how to lower the age of your mouth and improve your oral and overall health.

Practice Oral Hygiene

Arguably, the number-one cause of premature mouth aging is neglect of oral hygiene. Your Waco dentist recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled, ADA-approved toothbrush less than three months old. He also recommends flossing daily with 18 inches of floss. Following these steps will keep plaque from building up on your teeth, which will help prevent both gum disease and tooth decay.

Watch What You Eat

Food consumption is also important for keeping your mouth young. There is a correlation between the size of the waist and the state of the mouth. The bigger your pant size, the more likely you’ll have oral health problems, because the type of food that is bad for your weight—filled with sugar and starch—is exactly the type of food that are bad for your teeth. Obesity can lead to diabetes, which can make fighting off bacterial infections, such as gum disease, very difficult. By eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and light on processed sugar, you can lose weight and improve your oral health.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, you need to quit. In addition to all the well-publicized ways that smoking destroys your overall health, it can also destroy your oral health. Smoking masks signs of periodontal disease, and makes existing gum problems worse. Gum disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss in the United States, and studies have revealed that smokers lose roughly two to three times the amount of teeth than non-smokers do. There are few things that will age your mouth faster than smoking.

See Your Waco Dentist

Your Waco dentist can help keep your mouth as young as your actual age. Be sure to see Dr. Locke every six months for a regular checkup and cleaning. If there are any other problems with your smile, such as tooth discoloration, chips, cracks, or missing teeth, he can perform cosmetic or restorative dentistry. Schedule an appointment by calling our Waco dentist office at (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, the 76712 zip code, and surrounding communities.