As we get older, we’re naturally going to experience some changes in our oral health. That’s why it’s important to visit your dentist in Hermiston at least twice a year. After all, gum disease and cavities become more common as we age. Even if you take really good care of your teeth, you can still experience some wear and tear and other problems. Follow these dental care tips for seniors to reduce the risk of oral health complications.
Brushing & Flossing Habits May Change
To keep your teeth and gums healthy, it’s critical that you clean your mouth regularly with proper oral hygiene products like floss or a toothbrush. However, sometimes brushing and flossing becomes more difficult as we age, especially if we no longer have the dexterity in our hands that we used to. It’s important to find the right tools for your specific needs so that you can thoroughly brush and floss properly. Brushing and flossing are crucial, especially in seniors, to reduce the risk of gum disease, which affects nearly half of all adults over the age of 65 and can contribute to other health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Dry Mouth is a Real Concern
Dry mouth is a common side effect of certain medications that affect saliva production, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics. Dry mouth can also happen due to age-related changes in your salivary glands and related issues. While this problem can certainly be uncomfortable, it can also cause serious problems. Dry mouth can cause decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Be sure to speak with your dentist in Hermiston about what steps you can take at home to relieve dry mouth issues. Most dentists will recommend:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Chewing sugarless gum to stimulate saliva
- Limiting caffeine and alcohol as they can increase drying
- Trying a mouthwash specifically for dry mouth
Dental Visits Are Even More Important
As we age, we are more susceptible to tooth decay and oral infection. We also know that seniors can also have a harder time keeping their mouths clean. This can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and other oral health problems. This makes it extra important that you see your dentist in Hermiston at least twice a year. In fact, some older adults that are at increased risk for dental problems may want to visit their dentist more than two times per year.
Losing Teeth Isn’t a Guarantee
When many people think about how getting older may affect their oral health, they automatically think about tooth loss. The truth is, you don’t have to lose your teeth. The best ways to prevent tooth loss as you age is to take excellent care of your oral health, eat healthily, drink plenty of water, avoid smoking, and see your dentist regularly. However, if you do lose a tooth or two, we always recommend replacing it with a dental bridge, dental implants, or dentures. Without a full set of teeth, your oral health and overall health can suffer.
At every age, it’s important to take care of your teeth. But as we grow older, that care may change. Make sure you adapt your oral health care routine to protect your teeth long into your golden years.