20's and beyond - Damaged caused by your youth
Testing your dental boundaries
You have reached the milestone of a young adult, an exciting time in your life, filled with many new experiences and learning curves. It is common to begin smoking, drinking alcohol, increasing your caffeine intake, and in some cases trying recreational drugs. All these habits, whether occasional or regular, will affect your oral and general health.
The oral problems linked with these practices can surface immediately or remain dormant until later in life. These include stained teeth, reduced saliva, gum disease and in more extreme cases; it can lead to oral cancer. There is generally a widespread ignorance of the damaging effects these habits and many others have on your oral health. Prevention of dental issues and early detection in your 20s can reverse the effects and stop any further problems in your later years.
Unhealthy eating habits
The convenience and wide selection of processed food can become common in a diet. It is frequent to see individuals in their 20s substituting nutritious meals with unhealthy ‘eating on the go’ food, combined with frequent snacking. Without realising the additives in these foods and drinks, we are constantly contributing to dental issues. The acid in a variety of foods and drinks works to erode tooth enamel if consumed regularly. Even consuming large amounts of citrus fruits can actively cause teeth erosion. A healthy diet in moderation is advised to ensure your teeth remain strong during your 20s and onwards.
Stomach acids and teeth erosion
Any condition that involves frequent vomiting or gastric reflux – such as bulimia, nausea from pregnancy or nausea from drinking/drugs – can cause rapid and severe erosion of tooth enamel. These conditions will contribute to irreversible loss of tooth structure due to chemical dissolution.
If an episode of vomiting occurs, the best option is to avoid brushing the teeth, wash out the mouth with water to remove acid residue and stimulate the flow of saliva by chewing gum. Contact your doctor if any condition causes regular vomiting and discuss the measures to prevent further damage to your teeth.
Ignored orthodontic aftercare
Orthodontic (braces) treatment is common during our teen years. Once the braces have been removed, the aftercare of wearing your fitted retainer can be ignored resulting in shifting teeth. Once this movement occurs and your initial retainer no longer fits, it is vital to revisit your orthodontic to have another one constructed.
Unfortunately, many individuals in their 20s ignore this advice, leading to further malalignment of their teeth. Straightened or aligned teeth are not just aesthetically pleasing but their ideal positioning allows better access for cleaning. Nicely aligned teeth assist in the prevention of both plaque formation and accumulation and help to avoid the development of the extensive tartar often found on crowded teeth that frequently results in progressive gum disease.
NQ Surgical Dentistry and your oral health
When you visit Dr Priestland and his team, you will receive all the information you need to care for your oral health in your 20s and on. Early detection and prevention of any dental issues are performed with the highest level of expertise and care.
If you would like to know more about how NQ Surgical Dentistry can help you, or to make an appointment, please contact us today.