No matter whether you are 15 or 55, maintaining your oral health is important. But you might find yourself wondering if your dental routine should be adjusted as you grow older. It’s a fact that age naturally changes conditions in your mouth. So whether you have a full set of dentures, a partial set or even all of your own natural teeth, it’s just as important to take good care of your oral health and hygiene now as when you were younger. The skilled and compassionate dentists of Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry in East Hanover, NJ want to make you aware of these tips for keeping up with your oral health once you’re over 55.
Fluoride Is Still Important
While everyone knows that products infused with fluoride are often prescribed to children in order to help build strong, healthy teeth and ward off the effects of tooth decay, it can still help you even if you’re in your 50’s. Research has shown that older individuals have an increased risk for cavities, making the addition of products infused with fluoride to your daily routine a good idea.
Many toothpastes and mouthwash brands add fluoride to their products to aid their consumers in protecting their teeth. As always, brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once daily are still recommended by dentists for older adults. Drinking fluoridated tap water is also suggested to help you protect your tooth enamel against decay as you age. Some dentists offer in-office fluoride treatments if you seem to be cavity-prone.
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Although getting older doesn’t mean you are more likely to have dry mouth, certain common aspects of aging, such as taking more medications for chronic medical conditions, can increase your risk for dry mouth. Saliva production is important in oral health as it naturally washes away food particles and the bacteria that feed on them. This prevents tooth decay and cavities. Dry mouth can also negatively affect the fit of your dentures, causing chafing between your gums and your dentures.
If you frequently experience 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 problem. 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.
Caring for Your Dentures
According to dental studies, more than 170 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and lost teeth become more common as you age. Even if you have dentures, it’s still vital to care for 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 necessary 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 concern for older adults. However, while it is common, gum disease isn’t an unavoidable 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 Over Age 55 in East Hanover, NJ
A healthy smile is beautiful at any age. Maintaining good oral hygiene, 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. If you’re in the East Hanover, NJ area and need routine or cosmetic dental care, call (973) 287-3153 or schedule online to see one of our dentists at Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry today.