As we age, wear and tear take a toll on our teeth each and every day. Thankfully, you have the power to greatly reduce the effects and protect your teeth for years to come. Anyone over the age of 55 needs to pay extra close attention to their daily oral care routine. Here at Comfort Care Family Dental, we are committed to helping our senior patients take care of their teeth. No matter what issues you may be facing, we are here to help and we are here to show you how dental care as we age can be easier when you have the right dental team at your side! These simple steps for dental care as we age can help protect your smile and keep you happy and healthy well into your senior years:
Reduce Wear and Tear
Your teeth are made to be strong and they are, in fact, some of the strongest bones in the body. This, however, doesn’t mean they are indestructible. Certain forces can damage teeth and over decades of wear and tear teeth can finally start to chip and crack and break. You can’t erase a lifetime of wear and tear, without the care and attention of a dental expert. You can, however, prevent more damage from being done. Don’t chew ice or other hard foods. Get checked if you think you may be grinding your teeth when you sleep and be sure to eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can do many small simple things day in and day out to protect your teeth from wear and tear.
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Bacteria, which is commonly referred to as dental plaque, is always forming on your teeth. When it is not removed with proper brushing and dental cleaning, it can lead to soreness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. It can even cause infections that damage the bone of the jaw and can ultimately lead to the loss of teeth! Dental care as we age is important and your dental team can help you watch for signs of gum problems. The best way to protect your gums and therefore your teeth as well, is to follow a good care routine every day. Brush twice a day and floss every day before you go to bed. See your dentist regularly, don’t skip dental care appointments, and done use tobacco products!
Avoid Dry Mouth
It may seem like such a simple thing but our mouths are meant to be moist and when they aren’t it stresses our teeth and gums. Saliva helps clean teeth and protects them. Many seniors have issues with dry mouth throughout the day and at night and this can cause advanced gum disease and faster development of dental plaque. There are many medications that can cause dry mouth and some illnesses and disease can also impact the mouth and make it drier than normal. You need to drink plenty of water. You can chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy. Extreme cases need advanced treatment from your healthcare provider.
Look Out for Acid
We all know to avoid sugary drinks like soda and seven seemingly healthy drinks like fruit juice can have a lot of sugar in them. However, you also need to be concerned about exposing your teeth to high levels of acid from the food and drink you add to your diet. Fizzy drinks and citrus fruits and juices all contain acid. Even many of the foods we eat are bad because sugar and starches produce acids as they are broken down. This acid eats away the enamel coating and can damage teeth. After you have had a drink high in acid or have eaten food that can produce acid its always best to brush your teeth. If you can’t, then try to at least follow it up with milk or cheese to “cancel out” the acid.
Get Checked for Cancer
It is one of the most terrifying things any health care professional can tell you. But many seniors end up hearing the words- you have cancer. As you age, there is an increased chance that you could develop cancer of your mouth, throat, tongue, or lips. This comes after decades of exposure to sun, harmful toxins in the environment, and years of poor lifestyle choices. Sometimes they happen seemingly for no reason or because of poor genetics. The best way to prevent this is to stop smoking and to make sure you drink alcohol only in moderation. Use a lip balm with sunscreen when you are outside. And always keep dental appointments so the team can do oral cancer screenings.
Dental Care As We Age
If you have questions about the ins and outs of dental care as we age, or if you currently have dental concerns you need help with, give us a call. Here at Comfort Care Family Dental, we have years of experience working with seniors and we can help you take care of your teeth and keep your smile healthy and bright for years to come! Don’t put it off! Put an end to simply dealing with your dental issues and putting up with teeth and gum problems. Let our team put our training and experience to work for you. Call for a consultation appointment today and see the difference we can make firsthand! You will be glad that you did!
1001 E Chicago Ave #143, Naperville, IL 60540