No matter how old you are, maintaining your oral health is important. But you might find yourself wondering if you’re still doing enough to keep your smile healthy and attractive as you get older. It’s true that the passage of time naturally changes conditions in your mouth. So whether you have a full set of dentures, a partial set, or even all of your original teeth, it’s just as important to engage in proper oral care now as when you were younger. Dr. Mark Sowell of Sensational Smiles wants to make you aware of these oral health tips for seniors in Plano, TX.
Fluoride Is Still Important
While everyone knows that products infused with fluoride are recommended to children in order to help build strong, healthy tooth enamel and ward off decay, it can still be helpful to you even if you’re in your 50’s. Dental research shows that older individuals are at an increased risk for cavities, making the addition of products with fluoride to your daily routine a good idea.
Many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwash brands add fluoride to their products to help their consumers strengthen their teeth against tooth decay. As always, brushing at least twice daily and flossing every day are still recommended for older adults. Drinking fluoridated tap water is also suggested to help you protect your tooth enamel against decay. Some dentists offer in-office fluoride treatments if you’ve had too many cavities lately.
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Although getting older by itself doesn’t mean you are more likely to have a dry mouth, certain aspects of aging, such as taking more medications for chronic conditions, can increase your chances of having a dry mouth. Keeping your saliva production up is important as it naturally washes away food particles and the bacteria that feed on them, preventing tooth decay and cavities. Dry mouth can also negatively affect the fit of your dentures, causing chafing between your gums and your dentures. So you should be sure to drink plenty of water every day to help with these issues.
If you suffer from an unnaturally dry mouth, there are a few changes you can make to your lifestyle to reduce your symptoms. Moisturizing mouthwash or sprays are available to help with this condition. Chewing sugar-free gum can also encourage an increase in the production of saliva. Finally, artificial saliva, which closely mimics real saliva, is also available.
If you find these tips do not help your dry mouth, you can also consult your doctor or dentist. If your dry mouth is caused by medication, adjusting your dose or trying a different medicine may help alleviate certain symptoms.
Caring for Your Dentures
According to dental experts, more than 170 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and we tend to lose more as we get older. Even if you have dentures, it’s still important to be conscientious when caring for them. Using a toothpaste that is specially made for cleaning dentures, and making sure you clean your dentures daily are both important steps for their upkeep.
Brushing your gums and tongue with a soft toothbrush is also suggested by dentists to remove any bacteria and food particles from your mouth. If you have implant-secured dentures, be sure to floss between the implants that hold them before you put the dentures back in. Dr. Sowell or your area dentist can provide you with a list of specific instructions for caring for your dentures to make sure they last you as long as possible.
Don’t Forget about Gum Disease
Whether or not you have all of your real teeth, gum disease remains a serious threat to oral health among older adults. However, while it is common, gum disease isn’t an inevitable part of aging. Maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist at least every 6 months can help you prevent gum disease, identifying it, and treating it quickly.
Dental Care for Seniors in Plano, TX
A healthy smile is beautiful at any age so it’s important to keep up with good hygiene habits, visit your dentist for routine check-ups and make changes to your routine as your body needs them. This will help you keep your smile healthy for years to come. No matter your age, if you’re in the Plano area and need routine or cosmetic dental care, call (972) 382-6855 or schedule a dental appointment online to see Dr. Sowell at Sensational Smiles today.