Everything changes with age. Some of those changes are positive, like the maturity and wisdom that comes with decades of life experience. Other changes are a little tougher to deal with, like cranky knees and higher insurance premiums!
With all the changes that happen in later years, your mouth is no exception. Keep reading to learn about three easy tips from a dentist that will keep your smile healthy and beautiful well into your golden years!
Counteract Dry Mouth
One very common side effect of many prescription medications is dry mouth. In addition to feeling uncomfortable, this condition can negatively impact your teeth.
That’s because saliva does more than just keep your mouth moist. It washes away plaque and food debris, naturally keeping your mouth clean. It also neutralizes the acids produced in the mouth after meals that can cause cavities.
Without the beneficial effects of saliva, the risk for getting cavities is much, much higher!
Chew sugar-free gum, drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, and minimize sugars in your diet. Your dentist can also prescribe a high fluoride toothpaste to counteract the effects of dry mouth that can make a big difference!
Take Great Care of Your Denture
If you have partial or full dentures, you’ll want to take extra care to keep them looking and feeling great for as long as possible.
Here are some easy ways to do that:
- Rinse them after every meal to remove any of the food debris that can get caught underneath them.
- Use extra care when handling your dentures to avoid dropping and potentially breaking them.
- Clean them with a specially formulated denture cleaner, not regular toothpaste.
- Remove your dentures at night to let your tissues “breathe.”
- When you’re not wearing your dentures, make sure to keep them moist by immersing them in cool or tepid water. You could also soak them in a denture cleanser solution.
Focus on Gum Health
Did you know that an estimated 1 out of every 5 Americans over the age of 65 has gum disease? This common condition destroys the gums and underlying bone that keep the teeth in place.
In advanced cases, the teeth can become loose and fall out, even if they’ve never had cavities!
Here are some great ways to have healthy gums:
- Get regular checkups and cleanings.
- Establish great hygiene habits at home. If you have dexterity issues from arthritis, there are a lot of tools that can help you get the job done. Electric toothbrushes, waterpicks and special toothpicks or brushes are all options. Ask your dentist or hygienist for ideas.
- Diabetes and smoking are both risk factors for gum disease. Work with your doctor to manage your diabetes and quit smoking to help keep your gums in great shape.
Getting older doesn’t mean you have to struggle with your teeth and gums. With these guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy excellent oral health for many years to come!
About the Author
All of the dentists at Painesville Dental Group understand the important role that great oral health plays in helping their patients lead long, happy lives. They’ll always take the time to help educate you on the hygiene habits that will serve you the best at every stage of life. If you have any questions, they can be reached via their website or (440) 354-2183.