7 Dental Tips Every Older Adult Needs
Aging isn’t fun. It can make you feel like you’re losing control of your health. Your dental health, however, is easy to manage once you know how to do so. These seven dental tips for seniors will help you keep your smile looking young and feeling great for a lifetime.
1. Prevent Dry Mouth
Saliva production slows down with advancing age. Saliva is necessary for cleansing teeth of bacteria, neutralizing acids in the mouth, and remineralizing enamel. Without a sufficient saliva flow, your mouth becomes the perfect environment for cavity-causing bacteria to flourish.
Many medications carry the side-effect of dry mouth. To prevent dry mouth, sip on water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Ask your doctor if it’s possible to change medications to a brand that doesn’t dry out your mouth. Chew on sugar-free gum to stimulate a healthy saliva flow.
A well-hydrated mouth is a healthy mouth!
2. Strengthen Your Tooth Enamel
Your teeth wear down and become brittle after years of use. You can prevent decay and damage by getting plenty of fluoride from toothpaste and mouthwash. Ask your dentist about other ways you can reinforce your tooth enamel.
3. Avoid Gum Recession
Receding gums expose long yellow tooth roots. Not only do these look unappealing, but those exposed roots are highly prone to decay. Your teeth are safer when they’re protected by gum tissue.
Recession can be genetic and a natural part of aging. But you can prevent some of it. Brush your teeth very gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This will help you avoid irritating your gums. Keeping your teeth clean will also stave off gum disease, another cause of gum recession.
4. Maintain a Routine of Good Oral Hygiene
Everyone benefits from a steady routine of brushing and flossing. Losing teeth is not actually a normal part of aging. If you take good care of your mouth, you can keep your teeth indefinitely. It all depends on good oral hygiene.
5. Cut Back on or Cut Out Tobacco and Alcohol
Tobacco use increases your risk of developing oral cancer. Alcohol tends to be extremely drying, especially if you already have dry mouth to begin with. Eliminate these harsh substances from your diet and your mouth will feel comfortable and fresh.
6. Replace Missing Teeth
After a tooth falls out, the remaining teeth can shift positions and drift out of alignment. Without support from a tooth root, the bone in the jaw starts to dissolve. If you don’t replace missing teeth, your smile will experience some dramatic changes that will affect the way you look and the way you eat.
Replace missing teeth as soon as possible to maintain the shape of your smile and to continue chewing your food with ease.
7. Visit a Tacoma Dentist Regularly
Growing older doesn’t mean you should give up on your dental health. Your teeth and gums have an impact on your overall well-being and comfort at every stage in your life. Taking care of your teeth is going to help you stay active and live the highest quality of life possible.
Regular dental checkups are opportunities for you to find out what your teeth need and what you can do to keep them healthy.
Call our team here at Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS - Family Dentistry to plan your next visit. We want to give you the peace of mind that comes with understanding your oral health. We’re also eager to equip you with the tools and information that will help you maintain a dignified and healthy smile for a lifetime.