As we get older, we are more prone to unique dental challenges that can impact how we look and feel. Older adults often face ailments, such as untreated tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and other chronic dental diseases, that can put them at higher risk for periodontal disease. However, with the appropriate attention and the invention of modern dental technology, these conditions are more treatable than ever.
5 Tips to Protect Your Teeth for Your Golden Years
We’ve learned a lot in recent years on how to better protect our teeth. And, the great news is that when it comes to your oral health, it is never too late to make vital changes that can aid in the prevention of dental diseases. Check out our list of 5 things you can do to protect your teeth so that you can keep them longer.
1. Don’t stop brushing and flossing.
Brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent dental diseases as it assists in the removal of dental plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on the surface of your teeth. When plaque builds up on the teeth, it causes tooth decay or gum disease. So, be sure to brush your teeth twice a day, ideally after breakfast and before bed, using a fluoride toothpaste. And, be sure to brush for at least two minutes at a time. Don’t forget to floss between your teeth every day too. If flossing is difficult for you, your family dentist can recommend a special brush or flossing pick.
2. Rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash.
Many people think that brushing and flossing is enough. But rinsing with a mouthwash serves an important purpose as well. Fluoride mouthwash strengthens your dental enamel and helps to reduce tooth decay and cavities. Further, since fluoride helps to protect the enamel, it can also help repair early stages of tooth decay.
3. Watch for changes in your mouth.
As we get older, our risks of developing oral cancer increases. And, we are at greatest risk once we reach the age of 45. Thus, it is important to pay attention to changes in your mouth and let your dentist know if any of these changes appear.
- Unexplained swelling in your jaw.
- A white or red patch of soft tissue in your mouth.
- An uncomfortable or sore spot in your mouth, lip, or throat.
- A lump or thickened area in your mouth, lip, or throat.
- New trouble chewing, swallowing, moving your tongue, or moving your jaw.
- Numbness in your tongue or mouth.
- Pain in one of your ears not accompanied by hearing loss.
4. Stop the use of tobacco products.
Smoking, vaping, and chewing tobacco or snuff not only increase your risk of developing dental diseases like gum disease, but make you more susceptible to oral cancer too. If you use tobacco products, every day that you continue can be detrimental to your health. Your doctor or dentist can help with strategies and techniques to quit smoking and to aid in helping with nicotine addiction. The sooner you can make a change, the better your oral health will be.
5. Select tooth-friendly foods that are also good for your body.
Diet and nutrition play a significant role in our overall health. Be sure to eat a balanced diet daily, but also pay attention to foods that are better for your teeth than others. For example, cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, carrots, celery, almonds, and apples are all great tooth-friendly food choices.
How restorative dentistry can help prevent dental diseases.
Preventive dentistry aids in preventing dental problems and in keeping your mouth healthy. For example, when you go to the dentist every six months, your dental checkup will include important elements of preventive dentistry, such as an oral examination, dental X-rays, and a tooth cleaning. When you fail to get preventive dental care, it can lead to more costly and invasive restorative dentistry down the road.
This leads us to restorative dentistry, which focuses on restoring function and structure to teeth that are missing, damaged, or infected. Common restorative dental treatments include dental crowns, dental implants, and dentures. Dental implants and dentures, in particular, are designed to replace missing teeth so that the function and appearance of your mouth can be restored. Restorative dentistry can also help with traumatic dental injuries caused by a trip or fall.
Let Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center help you protect your teeth from dental diseases.
If you live, work, or are retired in East Norriton, Pennsylvania, and want to prevent dental illness or improve your smile with restorative dentistry, give us a call at Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center. Or, request an appointment using our convenient online form. We look forward to meeting you and helping your teeth last longer.