Having good oral health is important no matter what age you are, but you may need to adjust your dental routine as you grow older. It’s a fact that conditions in our mouths change with the passage of time. So whether you have a partial or full set of dentures, it’s just as important to care for your mouth properly now as it was when you were younger.
Dr. Carter Perkins of Perkins Dentistry of Dunnellon, FL wants 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 recommended to children in order to help build strong, healthy tooth enamel and combat tooth decay, it can still help you even if you’re in your 50’s. Research has shown that older adults have an increased risk for cavities, meaning that adding products with fluoride to your daily routine is recommended.
Many toothpaste and mouthwash brands add fluoride to their products to strengthen tooth enamel. However, you should still brush at least twice daily and floss daily as well even if your products have added fluoride. Drinking fluoridated tap water can also help protect your tooth enamel against decay as you get older. Many dental offices offer in-office fluoride treatments if you seem especially prone to cavities.
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
While getting older doesn’t make you more likely to have dry mouth, taking more medications for chronic conditions as older people tend to do, can increase your risk for dry mouth. Saliva production is important as it naturally washes away food particles and bacteria that cause tooth decay and cavities. Dry mouth can also negatively impact how your dentures fit, causing chafing between your gums and your dentures.
If you believe you are suffering from dry mouth, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your symptoms. Moisturizing mouthwash or sprays are sold that can help with this condition. Chewing sugar-free gum is also recommended as it stimulates the production of saliva. Dr. Perkins can also prescribe artificial saliva, if necessary.
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, your doctor may adjust your dose or try a different medication to remedy this side effect.
Caring for Your Dentures
According to dental experts, more than 170 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and a large percentage of them are older adults. Even if you already have replaced your missing natural teeth with dentures, it’s still important to take care of those dentures and the gum tissue that support them. Perkins Dentistry recommends using a toothpaste that is specially made for cleaning dentures. Cleaning them daily is an important part of their upkeep.
Dentures are a great choice for restoring functionality, but you also need to make sure your mouth stays healthy. Brushing your gums with a soft toothbrush will remove food particles and oral bacteria from the mouth, keeping the tissue healthy. Patients with partial dentures need to make sure they floss between the supporting teeth before putting their partial back in. Dr. Perkins or your area 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
Even if you no longer have all your natural teeth, gum disease remains a serious issue among older adults. However, although it is increasingly common, gum disease does not have to be an inevitable part of getting older. Maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing Dr. Perkins or your area dentist regularly can help you prevent it, identify it and treat it quickly.
Dental Care for Seniors in Dunnellon, FL
A healthy smile is important at any age. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and making changes to your routine as your body needs them will help your smile stay healthy for years to come. No matter your age, if you’re in the Dunnellon area and need routine or cosmetic dental care, call (352) 440-5827 or schedule online to see Dr. Perkins at Perkins Dentistry today.