Maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile is important at any age. Just as your oral hygiene routine needs to change as adult teeth come in, as we enter a new phase of our life after 55, our oral hygiene needs minor updates. Whether you have a full set of dentures, all of your original teeth, or cosmetic treatments, there are some additional steps to take to maintain your smile over 55. Learn more with Knoxville TN periodontist Dr. Robert Cain.
1. Keep Using Fluoride
While everyone knows that products infused with fluoride are recommended to children in order to help build strong, healthy teeth and ward off decay, it can still help you even if you’re in your 50’s. Research has shown that older individuals have an increased risk for cavities, making the addition of products with fluoride to your daily routine a good idea.
Many toothpastes and mouthwash brands add fluoride to their products to help their consumers protect their teeth. As always, brushing at least twice daily and flossing every day are still recommended for older adults. Drinking fluoridated tap water is also recommended to help you protect your tooth enamel against decay as you age. Some dentists offer in-office fluoride treatments if you have found yourself especially prone to cavities lately.
2. Prevent Dry Mouth and Denture Problems
Although getting older doesn’t mean you are more likely to have dry mouth, certain aspects of aging, such as taking more medications for chronic conditions, can increase your risk for dry mouth. Saliva production is important as it naturally washes away food particles and the bacteria that feed on them. This prevents tooth decay and cavities. Dry mouth can also negatively affect the fit of your dentures, causing chafing between your gums and your dentures.
If you suffer from dry mouth, there are a few changes to your lifestyle you can make to reduce your symptoms. Moisturizing mouthwash or sprays are available to help with this condition. Chewing sugar-free gum, which encourages the production of saliva. Artificial saliva, which closely mimics real saliva, is also available.
3. Learn How to Care for Your Dentures
According to dental experts, more than 170 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and losing teeth becomes more common as you get older. Even if you have dentures, it’s still important to take care of those dentures just as you would your natural teeth. Using a toothpaste that is specially made for cleaning dentures, and making sure you clean your dentures on a daily basis are both important for their upkeep.
Brushing your gums and tongue with a soft toothbrush is also recommended to remove any bacteria and food particles from your mouth. If you have partial dentures, be sure to floss between the implants that hold them before you put the dentures back in. Dr. Cain or your area dentist can give you a list of specific instructions on caring for your dentures to make sure they last you as long as possible.
Periodontal Dental Care for Seniors in Knoxville, TN
A healthy smile is beautiful at any age. Keeping up with good hygiene habits, visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and making changes to your routine as your body needs them will help you keep your smile healthy for years to come. No matter your age, if you’re in the Knoxville area and need routine or cosmetic dental care, call (865) 280-1173 or schedule online to see Dr. Cain today.