Keeping up with your oral health is important no matter how old you may be. But you may wonder if your dental care routine should be adjusted as you grow older. It’s true that conditions in your mouth naturally change as you age. No matter if you have a full set of dentures, a partial set or even all of your original teeth, it’s still just as important to take proper care of your mouth now as when you were younger.
Dr. Michael H. Mulkey of Lost Mountain Dental at Due West in Marietta, GA wants to make you aware of these tips for keeping up with your oral health once you’re over age 55.
Fluoride Is Still Important
While products infused with fluoride are commonly recommended to children in order to help build strong, healthy tooth enamel and ward off decay, fluoride can still help you even if you’re in your 50’s. Research has shown that older people have an increased risk for cavities, making the addition of products with fluoride to your daily routine a good idea.
Many toothpastes and mouthwash brands include fluoride in their products to help their consumers build up their tooth enamel. Brushing at least twice daily and flossing every day are still recommended for older adults. Drinking tap water that has added fluoride is also recommended to help you protect your teeth against decay as you age. Additionally, many dentists offer in-office fluoride treatments if you have seem especially prone to cavities despite maintaining a regular dental hygiene regimen.
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Although getting older doesn’t make you more likely to have dry mouth, certain aspects of aging, such as taking more medications for chronic conditions, increase your risk for dry mouth. Saliva production is important for your dental health as it naturally washes away leftover food particles and the bacteria that feed on them. Keeping moisture in your mouth prevents tooth decay and cavities. Having a dried out mouth can also affect the proper fit of your dentures, causing chafing between your gums and your dentures.
However, there are a few changes to your lifestyle you can make to reduce your incidences of dry mouth. Moisturizing mouthwash or sprays can be used to help with this condition. Chewing sugar-free gum also encourages the production of saliva. Artificial saliva, which closely mimics real saliva, is also available.
If you find these tips do not help the condition, you can also consult your doctor or dentist. If your dry mouth is caused by medication, changing your dose or the type of medication can help alleviate this symptoms.
Caring for Your Dentures
According to dental experts, more than 170 million US citizens are missing at least one tooth, and a large percentage of those Americans are older people. Even if you already have replaced your missing natural teeth with dentures, it’s still crucial to properly care for those dentures and the gum tissue that support them. Dr. Mulkey or your area dentist can give you a list of specific instructions on caring for your dentures to make sure they last you as long as possible.
Don’t Forget about Gum Disease
Even if you no longer have all of your real teeth, gum disease remains a serious issue among older adults. However, while it is common, gum disease isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. Maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly can help you prevent it, identify it and treat it quickly.
Dental Care for Seniors in Marietta, GA
A healthy smile is important at any age. Keeping good oral hygiene habits, visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and making changes to your routine as your body needs them will help your smile stay healthy for years to come. No matter your age, if you’re in the Marietta area and need routine or cosmetic dental care, call (678) 212-1280 or schedule online to see Dr. Mulkey at Lost Mountain Dental at Due West today.