Your oral health has a significant impact on your quality of life and has a key role in how comfortably you can smile, speak and eat. As you get older, the responsibilities that come with taking care of your dental health do not go away. In fact, it may become more important than ever to focus on your dental health because your mouth will change as you age. Taking good care of your teeth and gums can help you avoid dental problems as you grow older.
Caring for Your Teeth
Here are some tips for taking care of your dental health as you grow older:
- Floss daily
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth twice a day
- If applicable, regularly remove and clean your dentures, and never wear them to sleep
- Visit your dentist regularly
Aging and Going to the Dentist
Your oral health care routine should always include at least two visits a year to the dental office. These visits will not only help you maintain healthy teeth, but they can also give your dentist information about your overall health. As you get older, your dental needs are more likely to be specialized, and you may find it necessary to schedule additional visits to ensure that you are getting the information and services you need to protect your oral health. You can kick off the new year by scheduling a dental appointment to make sure that your teeth will last a lifetime.
Conditions that Can Hinder Your Dental Health as You Age
- Dry mouth. Chronic dry mouth, or the reduction or absence of saliva in your mouth, can be caused by a number of factors, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines and excessive mouth breathing while sleeping. Saliva aids in the prevention of tooth decay by neutralizing harmful acids that can damage your tooth enamel and washing away food particles and bacteria.
- Difficulty with brushing and flossing. Arthritis is an ailment you may experience and can make brushing and flossing your teeth regularly very difficult. You can speak with your dentist about specially designed dental cleaning products that are easier for you to hold and that can make taking care of your dental health more comfortable.
- Prescription medication. Certain medicines that you are required to take for your health may create sores and inflame the soft tissues in your mouth, which can affect your ability to make saliva. Some prescription medications can also damage your gums.
- Diabetes. Research has shown that people with diabetes are more likely develop gum disease. If you have diabetes, you may be more susceptible to developing a bacterial infection and may not be able to fight the bacteria that attack your gums.
At Brewery District Dental, we know that properly taking care of your teeth and gums every day can help you have good dental health for a lifetime. Call or visit our office to schedule an initial consultation and begin a path toward happier tomorrows.