As we age, it’s important to adapt our oral care routines to meet the changing needs of our teeth and gums. Aging can bring about specific dental concerns, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and dry mouth. If you know how to take care of your aging teeth, you are less likely to have serious issues. At the very least, you will be prepared for any issues that come your way. Your dentist will be able to walk you through a good oral care routine. Your teeth should be one less thing you worry about as you age.
Daily Oral Hygiene
Regular brushing is the foundation of good oral hygiene, regardless of age. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Gentle circular motions and proper technique help remove plaque and maintain oral health.
Flossing removes plaque and food particles between your teeth and the gum line. Aging teeth may be more prone to gum disease, making daily flossing even more important. Use gentle but thorough motions, ensuring you reach all areas.
Electric toothbrushes can be good for those who have difficulty handling a manual toothbrush. These devices provide consistent brushing motion, ensuring a more effective clean.
Dry mouth is a common issue in aging individuals. To combat dry mouth, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Sip water regularly, especially during meals and after consuming dry or salty foods.
Alcohol-based mouthwashes can make dry mouth worse. Opt for mouthwashes specifically designed for dry mouth relief. These products help lubricate the oral tissues and provide temporary relief from discomfort.
Sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production and can help alleviate dry mouth symptoms. Chewing gum after meals or throughout the day can provide relief and promote a healthier oral environment.
Tooth sensitivity can become more common as we age. Switching to desensitizing toothpaste can help reduce discomfort caused by hot or cold foods and beverages. These toothpastes contain ingredients that block nerve sensations and provide relief.
If you experience tooth sensitivity, consider switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard-bristled brushes can be abrasive and may worsen sensitivity. Soft bristles gently clean your teeth without causing further irritation.
Seeking Professional Dental Care
Routine dental check-ups are essential for maintaining oral health, especially as we age. Schedule regular visits to your dentist for full exams and dental cleanings. These also allow your dentist to detect and address dental issues in their early stages.
Aging teeth are more susceptible to gum disease. Proper gum care is crucial, including regular cleanings, fum evaluations, and diligent oral hygiene practices. Your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings to avoid gum disease. For example, they may do scaling and root planing.
Tooth loss can occur as a natural part of the aging process. If you have tooth loss, consult your dentist about tooth replacement options such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Restoring missing teeth improves function and helps keep proper alignment. This also helps prevent further dental issues.