Though 75 percent of people over 65 still have at least some of their natural teeth, the older we get the more oral health problems most of us have. Our Surrey dentists offer tips for keeping your teeth healthy as you age.
Typically, older people are more likely to face disorders and diseases of the oral cavity, including dental decay, tooth loss, mouth infections, gum disease and oral cancer.
However, having poor oral health in your later years isn’t inevitable. By maintaining good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly and eating a healthy diet, you will have a much better chance of keeping a healthy mouth for decades to come.
Follow these tips to keep your mouth looking healthy and feeling younger than it is.
Care for Your Gums
Healthy gums provide a foundation for healthy teeth, so it’s essential to prevent periodontal (gum) disease from taking hold. Symptoms of gum disease include gum recession, loose teeth and the breakdown of jawbone. It is the primary cause of tooth loss for mature adults.
When plaque builds up along the gumline and is not brushed away, gum disease forms. While gum disease isn’t caused by aging itself, serious symptoms often progress gradually and become apparent later in life.
Fortunately, we can easily prevent periodontal disease the same way we prevent tooth decay: with twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regularly seeing the dentist for an oral exam and professional cleaning.
Try to Reduce Wear & Tear
Your teeth have been with you all your life - that’s decades of crunching, chewing, gnawing, consuming acidic and carbonated drinks and foods such as pop and fruits, and other everyday tasks that are tough on teeth.
As a result, all this wear and tear leaves your teeth more susceptible to plaque, oral bacteria, chips, cracks, cavities and decay. These compromise the structural integrity of your teeth.
Preventing cavities with regular and thorough brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings at your dentist’s office will reduce the effects of wear and tear on your teeth, and keep them in good condition. Also look for toothpastes and mouthwashes with ingredients such as fluoride that will strengthen your enamel.
Lastly, break the habit of using your teeth on things that they were not designed to bite - no using them to chew on pen lids, trim your fingernails or tear into packages.
Your dentist can determine whether you have gum disease, and create a custom treatment plan that works for you.