By the time most of us have passed age 65, about 75 percent of us will still have some of our natural teeth. Nonetheless, as we get older we’re more likely to experience oral health issues. Our Delta dentists explain how you can keep your teeth healthy as you age.
One unfortunate fact about getting older is that we’re more likely to face oral health-related diseases and disorders, from infections in the mouth to tooth loss, gum disease, dental decay and oral cancer.
But, it’s not inevitable that you’ll have poor oral health as you enter your late 60s and beyond. If you see your dentist regularly, eat a healthful diet and maintain a solid at-home oral hygiene routine between visits, your chances of enjoying healthy teeth for years to come will drastically improve.
Try these tried-and-true methods of keeping your mouth looking and feeling healthy as you enter your senior years.
Give your gums some TLC
Since healthy gums are the foundation for healthy teeth, it’s critical to keep plaque from building up along the gumline since this is a common cause of periodontal (gum) disease. If advanced gum disease becomes an issue, oral surgery will likely be needed to treat the condition.
Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in mature adults. Signs of the condition include receding gums, loose teeth and a deteriorating jawbone.
While gum disease isn’t due to aging itself, serious symptoms can develop later in our lives or become more apparent in our golden years.
Fortunately, we can easily prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay. No matter your age, remember to brush for two minutes twice a day, floss, and visit your dentist on a regular basis for an oral hygiene exam and professional dental cleaning.
Last tip: Gently brushing and flossing your gums will give them the tender, loving care they need to stay pink and healthy. Since they may be sensitive, brushing vigorously can harm them.
Keep Wear & Tear to a Minimum
Your teeth have been through decades of everyday gnawing, crunching, and chewing - and depending on how much acidic or carbonated food and beverages you’ve enjoyed throughout your life, they may have endured a significant amount of wear and tear.
This leaves them more susceptible to cavities, decay, oral bacteria, plaque, chips and fractures, all of which can compromise the structural teeth of one or multiple teeth.
Since bacteria can cause decay and disease, it’s essential to prevent it from taking hold. Ensure you brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings.
You might also think about looking for toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain ingredients such as fluoride to strengthen your tooth enamel. Finally, don’t use your teeth to trim your fingernails, chew on pen lids, or rip packages or other items.
Maintaining an excellent oral health care routine will ensure your teeth stay in good condition, give your dentist a chance to detect any oral health diseases or problems such as oral cancer early, and reduce the effects of wear and tear, so any issues can be treated effectively.