Aging and Dental Health Guidelines
Oral health is crucial not only to have a healthy smile but also to live a quality life. Taking good care of your teeth and oral health becomes even more vital as you get older. One prevalent misunderstanding is that tooth loss is unavoidable. That is not correct. Teeth can last a lifetime if properly cared for.
Common dental problems in older patients
All of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs experience aging changes. All components of the body, including the teeth and gums, are affected by these changes. Your teeth’ nerves can shrink with time, making them less sensitive to cavities and other problems. Dental health can be harmed by certain health issues that are more common in older persons, as well as by taking certain medications. If you don’t undergo regular dental exams, these issues may go unnoticed until it is too late.
Some common dental problems in older patients are dry mouth, gum problems, receding gums, abrasion, erosion, abfraction, dental cavities, mouth sores, yeast infections, and chewing problems, etc. Certain health conditions may also hinder the natural ability of the patients to keep their oral health optimal for example dementia, mental disabilities, and physical disabilities, etc.
Ways to keep your dental health optimal
Here are some ways for older populations to keep their dental health optimal
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using an electric toothbrush may also be beneficial.
- Make sure to use fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss or another flossing tool (interdental brushes, super floss, etc.) should be used once a day to clean between your teeth, under the crowns, and bridges.
- Remember to clean your dentures daily if you have full or partial dentures. Every day, leave your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours. It is preferable to take them down at night.
- Drink the water from the tap. Because most include fluoride, it helps to prevent tooth decay in people of all ages.
- Stop smoking. In addition to increasing your chance of lung and other cancers, smoking also raises your risk of gum disease, dental decay, and tooth loss.
- Replace your toothbrush with one that has bristles that are suited to the duty of cleaning your teeth and gums. Your toothbrush will get frayed and less effective at eliminating plaque and bacteria after natural wear and tear.
- Choose vitamin C-rich foods like leafy greens, folic acid-rich foods like spinach and broccoli, and vitamin B12-rich meals like dairy and meat. Calcium is found in dairy foods, and yogurt contains phosphates, which can promote remineralization of teeth.
- To keep your oral health in check, see your dentist regularly. Dental x-rays can be used to determine the health of your mouth. A professional cleaning will get to locations that you will not be able to reach on your own. Your dentist will also be able to detect deterioration in its early, most treatable stages during the visit.