Everyone needs to pay attention to their oral health, no matter their age. But you might wonder whether your oral care routine needs to change as you get older, and it does! Over time, conditions in the mouth change, which warrants a change in your oral hygiene regimen. If you have had cosmetic dentistry, restorations, or even still have all of your natural teeth, learn about how to care for your oral health over age 55 with Montclair Plaza Dental Group.
Keep Using Fluoride
Products containing fluoride and topical fluoride treatments are recommended for children to help build strong teeth and ward off decay. Adults should continue using fluoride to maintain tooth enamel, especially older adults. Research has shown that older individuals are at a higher risk for cavities, so incorporating fluoride is important to keep teeth strong.
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.
Prevent Dry Mouth Symptoms
Getting older itself doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll experience dry mouth, but certain aspects of aging may increase your odds of dry mouth. Taking more medications for chronic conditions can decrease saliva production, which is necessary for washing away food particles and oral bacteria. Dry mouth can also negatively impact dentures, causing chafing between them and your gums.
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.
If you find these tips do not help the condition, you can also consult your doctor or dentist. If your dry mouth is caused by medication, adjusting your dose or trying a different medicine can help alleviate certain symptoms.
Care for Your Dentures or Other Cosmetic Treatments
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. Your dentist can give you a list of specific instructions on caring for your dentures to make sure they last you as long as possible.
Don’t Forget About Gum Disease
Whether or not you have all of your real teeth, gum disease remains a serious issue among older adults. However, while it is common, gum disease isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. Maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly can help you prevent it, identify it and treat it quickly.
Dental Care for Seniors in Montclair, CA
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 Montclair area and need routine or cosmetic dental care, call us or schedule a dental exam online.