For most people, brushing their teeth by themselves was their first independent activity, long before tying their shoes and learning how to ride a bicycle. Good thing, too, because an early start on dental hygiene is essential. As you get older, brushing your teeth and practicing good oral care are just as important as when you were a kid.
Sorry, did you think you were going to get the ultimate bye? No more brushing, flossing, or visiting the dentist? Not happening. In fact, caring for aging teeth may be more important than ever, and that applies whether you have your natural teeth, dental implants or dentures.
Scott Evans, DDS, whose Straight Teeth Orthodontics has two offices around Dallas, offers these tips for taking care of aging teeth. It’s a lifetime investment that definitely pays dividends with years of confident smiling, eating your favorite foods and living a healthy, full life.
Cavities aren’t just for kids!
It’s a myth that only kids get cavities. As long as you have natural teeth, you can get cavities. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and don’t forget to floss! If you have difficulty flossing, talk with Dr. Evans. There are a variety of new tools and flossing picks that make this task much easier than with traditional floss.
If you have dentures or dental implants, remember to brush and clean them, too. Just because these replacements can’t get cavities doesn’t mean they can’t harbor bacteria and cause infections or bad breath.
Gum disease risk factors
Gum disease is still a concern as you age. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, 25% of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have severe gum disease. Gum disease is a progressive condition that can ultimately lead to tooth loss and infections, and the infections can spread elsewhere in your body.
If you are diabetic, you will be more apt to get gum disease, so keep brushing and flossing.
Keep those dental checkups
Checkups with Dr. Evans are also important whether you have natural teeth, dental implants, or dentures. Not only does he check the fit and working order for your dentures and implants, but he also checks for oral cancer. If you have natural teeth, regular professional cleanings are important to make sure plaque buildup doesn’t turn into gum disease. Professional cleanings can remove plaque and tartar that you can’t get to at home, so keep checking in for those checkups.
Keep dry-mouth at bay
As you get older, dry-mouth can become an issue, especially because certain medications cause it. Aside from its discomfort, dry-mouth can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. If you can’t change you medications to alternatives that don’t bring this side effect, talk with Dr. Evans about recommendations for artificial saliva products. And remember to drink extra water!
Your teeth are the key to eating, speaking and feeling confident. Staying true to a healthy oral care routine throughout your life will help keep you smiling and healthy.
Dr. Evans serves patients of all ages in and around Dallas. Make your next appointment at one of his convenient locations in University Park or Oak Cliff. Book online or call today.