As you get older it becomes more and more important to take good care of your teeth and oral health. While you may be thinking that you’ll lose some or all of your teeth at some point, this isn’t necessarily true. If you take good care of your mouth health, your teeth will last forever!
Age can affect your oral health
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Growing older means that your body will age with you. Areas where you used to experience good health might not be quite as tip top as they once were. It’s common as you age for the nerves in your teeth to become smaller which can cause your teeth to be less sensitive to cavities or other concerns. While this may sound like a good thing, it actually means that you may not notice some of these problems until it’s too late. The best way to stay ahead of this is to get regular exams and cleanings so that your dentist can spot any concerns before they become too great.
Dental problems can easily escalate
As you age your cells will renew at a slower rate, your skin and tissue become thinner and less elastic and your bones can begin to weaken. In addition to these physical changes, you might find that your immune system has weakened and you have become more susceptible to infection and difficulties healing. All of these changes can mean dental health is more difficult, and much more important, to maintain. As your body starts having difficulty healing and fighting off infection, your risk of complications can increase.
Some common dental health problems in adults include:
• Untreated cavities and tooth decay
• Gum disease
• Missing teeth or complete tooth loss
• Oral cancer
• Reduced saliva formation due to medications, disorder or age
How to Maintain and Improve Oral Health
At any age good dental care can keep your teeth and gums healthy, however it becomes especially important as you grow older.
Some of the top steps to maintaining your oral health as you age include:
- Brush a least twice a day, using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Consider using an electric toothbrush, especially if dexterity has become more difficult
- Use floss to clean between your teeth at least once a day
- Drink water, particularly tap water as it often contains fluoride which can help prevent tooth decay
- Follow a good routine to keep you on track
- Eat mouth-healthy foods like crunchy vegetables
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks that can wear down your enamel and cause cavities
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can cause a wide range of oral health issues ranging from increased chances of gum disease to the risk of mouth or lung cancer
- If you wear dentures, clean them every day and take them out at night to give your gums a break and to give them the chance to get cleaned.
- Visit your dentist regularly
Visit your dentist for check ups
Seeing your dentist for regularly scheduled visits will help ensure that your teeth get a good cleaning each visit and that your dentist can help you stay on top of any potential concerns. Your dentist will be able to keep an eye on any developing issues and head them off before the issues become serious.
You can discuss with your dentist the right schedule for checkups and cleanings, though they’ll likely suggest twice yearly visits. This will help them see if your dental health is changing from one visit to the next, and be able to guide you on some good techniques as you age.
Healthy teeth lead to a healthy life
Taking good care of your oral health is something that will benefit you for many years to come. When you take steps to ensure your teeth and mouth are clean you can feel comfortable knowing that your mouth health is on a good path. Making good choices about the foods, drinks and habits you include in your daily life will help ensure your teeth last a lifetime.