Your smile can last for a lifetime with the right care over the years. As you reach your golden years, your oral health needs change because you’ll have a higher risk of several age-related dental issues. You can help preserve your smile using 5 dental hygiene tips for seniors.
1. Keep Your Mouth Moist
Your saliva is essential for a healthy smile. It helps cleanse your teeth and gums from harmful bacteria in between brushing and flossing. Unfortunately, dry mouth is often associated with age from the use of certain medications or a chronic illness. If your mouth isn’t moist, it increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. You can combat dry mouth by drinking plenty of water. Your dentist may also recommend using a mouthrinse.
2. Keep Your Gums Healthy
The health of your gums is equally important as your teeth. The biggest threat to your gums is an infection called gum disease. Although it’s preventable, at least 50% of adults have it, making it the leading cause of tooth loss. Not to mention, the infection is linked to several health issues, like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. You can support your gum health by flossing at least once a day.
3. Reduce Tooth Sensitivity
Attrition is wear and tear caused by many years of grinding and chewing food. As your enamel becomes thinner, the risk of cavities and fractured teeth will increase. Another common sign of attrition is tooth sensitivity. You don’t need to skip your morning cup of coffee or a cold bowl of ice cream on a summer day. Your dentist can strengthen your enamel with a fluoride treatment.
4. Prevent Root Decay
Root decay occurs when the root is exposed from the gum tissue receding. Since the roots don’t have any enamel to protect them, they are more prone to decay than the crown. You can maintain a healthy gumline by avoiding over-brushing. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth. In addition, visit your dentist at the first sign of gum disease, like red, swollen, or bleeding gums. With quick intervention, they can restore your gum health to ensure the tissues properly protect your roots.
5. Treat Tooth Loss
At least 120 million Americans are missing a tooth. If you lose a tooth or two over the years, your dentist for seniors recommends treating it right away. Even a single lost tooth increases the likeliness of serious oral health issues. Your dentist can fill the space and save your smile with a dental implant.
You can enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile with a proactive approach to your oral hygiene. Ask your dentist about additional tips to maintain your dental health.
About Dr. Anthony Giamberardino
Dr. Giamberardino earned his dental degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He has additional training in adult dental care to offer advanced preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services. If it’s time for your next cleaning or checkup, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.