While many seniors have lost some of their teeth, tooth loss in not necessarily the result of an aging process. In fact, experts suggest that older people can keep their natural choppers for a lifetime. With proper oral care and preventative measures, seniors can still have their teeth and reduce the need for additional dental work.
The sad part is, many older adults stop seeing their dentists. If you’re like most of them, it is normal that you may ignore or stop caring about your dental health. Family Smiles‘ Yreka dentist says this is usually the case if you are always at home or not out in the public. The truth is, oral hygiene matters most when you’re getting older.
Combat Dry Mouth
Regular dental visits are much important in old age, especially you suffer from dry mouth. This condition slows down the flow of saliva in the mouth. The thing is, saliva plays an important role in preventing decay by rinsing away food particles and neutralizing acids. Dry mouth is common in old age, but may also be due to medications such as antidepressants and antihistamines. Your dentist can treat this condition.
Proper Oral Hygiene
It is also important to floss once a day and brush twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. It is important to ask your dentist about fluoride gels, rinses, and other products that can keep cavities away. Cavities are also most likely to occur if your old fillings have chipped or if you have receding gums. Be sure to avoid smoking or drinking, as it can only aggravate existing oral and mouth conditions.
Mind Your Diet
When it comes to diet, be mindful of your food choices. Eat a healthy diet and snack in moderation. It is also advisable to avoid treats or foods loaded with sugars and starches. If there is a change in medication, always alert your dentist.
If you want to avoid wearing full dentures, it is best to follow proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. This is also true if you have no natural teeth, as other parts of oral health (oral cancer exams and adjustment of ill-fitting dentures) are taken care of at dental visits.