A few decades ago, older patients often were relegated to ill-fitting uncomfortable dentures after the tooth loss that inevitably came with aging in years past. Now, more and more patients are keeping their biological teeth into their 80s and beyond. The best dentist can work with you to preserve your smile well into your retirement years.
Maintaining a healthy smile as you age requires some good common sense with a little special consideration of certain factors that take on increased importance in older dental patients.
Many of the steps you take to protect your dental health as you get older are the same as those you began to take during childhood. [pullquote]Routine visits with a dentist are essential because they help to minimize the oral bacteria that can attack the teeth and gums.[/pullquote]
Routine visits with a dentist are essential because they help to minimize the oral bacteria that can attack the teeth and gums. When the dental hygienist cleans your teeth, it clears away any plaque and tartar that linger on the teeth even after you’ve brushed and flossed.
If you see your dentist every six months, it will also be easier for the dentist to catch any potential problems in their earliest stages when it’s easiest to fix them. Being proactive can help to limit damage that can lead to tooth and bone loss.
Good oral hygiene habits also help you to keep your teeth as you age. Brushing and flossing help to keep plaque and tartar in check and prevent various oral diseases.
Older patients do face some specific age-associated risk factors that have the potential to compromise their oral health. For example, as you get older, your chances of developing gum disease increases. Many older adults develop dry mouth, often as a side effect of medications, and the lack of saliva can allow bacteria to proliferate. Artificial saliva, or even drinking lots of water, can help to limit the effects of dry mouth.
Patients who can keep their biological teeth has they age gain a number of benefits, from better nutrition to an improved appearance. Talk to our team today about what you should be doing now so that you’ll be able to maintain your smile throughout your lifespan. Call 516-484-6394 to learn more.
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