People of all ages should practice effective oral hygiene to keep their teeth and gums healthy throughout their lives. But as individuals age and get older, various conditions may impact dental health to create problems that should be addressed. For example, certain health issues and medications can impact the health of your teeth; aging often leads to gum retraction, which exposes more of the teeth, making them susceptible to decay and cavities; after losing a tooth or two, the others may tilt, twist, or loosen. Here are some dental care tips that may help.
Maintain Oral Hygiene
Daily dental care remains an essential part of regular hygiene as you get older. You can’t afford to become lax in caring for teeth. Continue to brush and floss daily as well as using a dentist-recommended mouthwash to remove plaque and protect teeth from decay. Avoid eating extremely hard or sticky foods, which may cause a tooth to break. Don’t overdo it on sugar, which erodes tooth enamel. Drink adequate fluids to keep your mouth from drying out.
Keep Your Dentist Informed
Let your dentist know if you were diagnosed with a health condition that could impact your teeth. Also, inform the dentist if you are prescribed medicine that could stain or harm your teeth in any way. The dentist can take countermeasures, if necessary, as added protection. If your diet changes, that is also helpful information for the dentist in recommending specific oral hygiene practices.
Continue Routine Dental Checkups
Unless you are able to maintain your appointments due to health or transportation issues, continue seeing your dentist twice a year for regular checkups. These may include occasional x-rays and other diagnostic tests that can help to find hidden cavities below the gum line or in the depth of the teeth roots. If your health changes, the dentist can prescribe any helpful medications or a change in your oral care routine to keep your teeth healthy.
Consider Treatments to Correct Dental Problems
If your dentist identifies a serious or ongoing problem, a special treatment may be suggested. The dentist may discuss options like Invisalign treatment to straighten your teeth or jaw if one or both are uneven. Tooth extractions for severely damaged or broken teeth, gum tissue transplant for receding gums, and dental implants to replace missing teeth may be of interest in sustaining your ability to chew and speak clearly.
Senior dentistry is a valuable service that enables older people to keep their teeth longer and in healthy condition. See your dentist regularly for important dental care.