It is important to maintain your oral health at all ages, but there are some changes to make if you are over 55. Whether you have your original teeth, have had restorative or cosmetic dentistry, or are considering dental work, there are some key steps to remember as your oral health changes.
Plano, TX dentist Dr. Jacob Grapevine helps patients of all ages keep up with their oral health. Learn how to help your teeth age gracefully and have the best oral health over age 55.
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Aging does not automatically mean you are going to experience dry mouth, but some age-related medical conditions and medications may increase your chances. Some medications can reduce saliva production, leading to an increased amount of bacteria in the mouth. Saliva naturally washes away food particles and oral bacteria, and reduced amounts of it can increase your chances of tooth decay. Dry mouth can also cause chafing and discomfort for people with dentures.
Moisturizing mouthwash or sprays can help with dry mouth symptoms, and chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production. Artificial saliva mimics real saliva and can help dry mouth symptoms as well. If these tips don’t help your condition, you can consult with your dentist or doctor. If dry mouth is caused by a medical condition or medication, adjusting your wellness plan can alleviate symptoms or identify the root cause.
Fluoride Is Still Important
People over 55 have a higher risk of developing cavities, so older people need to continue to use products with fluoride in their daily routines. Fluoride is an important substance that builds and maintains strong, healthy teeth. It has also been shown to help reverse early signs of tooth decay.
Most mouthwash and toothpaste available on the market already has fluoride in it, but make sure you read the labels when you’re purchasing. Tap water in most cities has added fluoride, but if you are not on a public water supply, you may not have this added benefit. Some dentists even offer fluoride treatments for patients who have a higher propensity for cavities.
Maintain Your Teeth After Dental Work
Did you have dental work years ago? Make sure you’re still following your dentist’s instructions for maintaining your restorative or cosmetic treatments. This is especially true for dentures, which should be cared for like natural teeth. Using a toothpaste made for cleaning dentures and using it on a daily basis will preserve them and protect your health.
Brushing your gums with a soft toothbrush is a good idea to remove food particles and oral bacteria from the mouth. Patients with partial dentures need to make sure they floss between the supporting structures before putting them back in. Dentures are a great choice for restoring functionality, but they also need to have special care to ensure your mouth stays healthy.
Prevent Gum Disease
Even with dentures or missing teeth, gum disease is still an issue among older adults. Getting older does not automatically mean you will get gum disease, but maintaining good oral hygiene will help you prevent it as your health and mouth changes.
Dental Care for Seniors in Plano, TX
A healthy smile is beautiful at any age. Keeping up with good hygiene habits, visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and making changes to your routine as your body needs them 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) 268-6480 or schedule online to see our team.