How To Care For Your Teeth As They Age: Tips From Your Dentist In Plano
February 16, 2017
You’re planning to retire in a year and are getting everything settled – your finances, your travel plans, and your healthcare. Since you’ve made arrangements to live abroad for a year to celebrate your new freedom, you schedule an appointment with your dentist in Plano. When you see Dr. Bita Kamali at Parkway Vista Dental, she teaches you everything you need to know to keep your teeth healthy as you age. She’ll make sure your smile will look good no matter where your adventures take you or what age you are when you get there.
What Are The Effects Of Aging On Oral Health?
As you age, your entire body is effected – this includes your teeth and gums. Dr. Kamali explains more of what aging means for your mouth below:
- Dry Mouth – Growing older can mean a decrease in saliva production for majority of people. Since this lubricant’s job is to remineralize teeth and to protect them from tooth decay, dry mouth can contribute to cavities.
- Attrition – Through regular wear and tear (known as attrition), teeth can become worn, shorter, and can even be more susceptible to breaking, and developing chips, cracks, and infections.
- Disease – Older people are at a greater risk for suffering from oral cancer, and can also deal with thrush, an uncomfortable fungal infection which is exacerbated by dry mouth.
- Root Decay – Many of the elderly have gum disease which can cause the roots of your teeth to be exposed. When the roots are unprotected by gum tissue, they can face the same decay that affects your teeth.
- Periodontitis – Since your gums are vital to oral health and are what hold your teeth, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention advanced gum disease. As time progresses, many seniors have gingivitis that develops into periodontitis – this can lead to the eventual loss of your teeth.
- Tooth Decay – 93% of people over the age of 65 have tooth decay. This common condition causes cavities, infections, and can lead to the need for root canal therapy, and can even damage your teeth so greatly that they have to be removed.
How Can I Take Care Of My Teeth As I Age?
At our practice, we want to make your smile last a lifetime. Follow these tips to keep your teeth healthy no matter how old you are:
- Brush & Floss – Brush gently for two minutes, twice a day, and floss at least once daily.
- Get Missing Teeth Replaced – Missing teeth, no matter your age, are problematic. To keep your entire mouth healthy, ensure you can chew and speak properly, and to make your smile look great, get dental implants from Dr. Kamali.
- Prioritize Dental Wellness – Don’t be resigned to poor oral health. The vast majority of patients over 65 retain their natural teeth, but this can only be true for you if you take care of your mouth.
- Drink Lots of Water – To keep your mouth hydrated and make up for dwindling saliva, drink plenty of water and chew sugarless gum with xylitol – a sugar free sweetener that strengthens enamel.
- Avoid Tobacco – If you’re still smoking or using tobacco products – stop. These are the leading cause of oral cancer and you can take steps to protect your entire body by eliminating this unhealthy habit.
- See Your Dentist – To make sure your oral health is where it should be, visit us at least twice a year for preventive care. If you’re afraid of the dentist or have dental anxiety, rest assured that Dr. Kamali is the premier sedation dentist in Plano, and she can give you a relaxing experience. Being nervous is no longer a reason for avoiding the care you need.
Now that you know how to take care of your teeth as you enter your golden years, schedule your appointment today with Parkway Vista Dental to keep your smile healthy and beautiful your whole life long.