As you get older, your smile changes. Common issues for older adults include gum disease, dry mouth, and worn enamel. According to the CDC, around 1 out of 5 adults aged 65+ have lost all their teeth. Thankfully, missing teeth isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. There are ways to keep your smile in great shape as you age.
Keep Up with Regular Dental Appointments
Regular teeth cleanings and exams are essential to good oral health. A dentist is the only person who can check for oral cancer, identify other issues early on, and provide necessary treatment. If you’re struggling with problems like gum disease – which is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults – we can treat it before it gets too serious and provide advice on what to do at home.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene at Home
Speaking of oral healthcare at home, brushing and flossing is the other big way to keep your smile in shape. At least twice a day, brush your teeth for two minutes, making sure to spend an equal amount of time in each section of your mouth. Brush your tongue, too! Flossing is another important habit to maintain. Our team can offer tips on how to improve your oral hygiene routine if you’re interested!
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
As people age, their mouths tend to get drier. There are a handful of reasons why, such as the use of certain medications and health conditions like diabetes. Dry mouth is associated with increased tooth decay, so it’s important to be on the lookout for dryness. Be sure to stay hydrated. Sugarless gum can also help increase your saliva production. If you believe medications are the problem, talk to your doctor about switching them for something else.
Treat Your Smile Gently
Your teeth are very strong, but the longer you use them, the more wear-and-tear they have to endure. It’s common for enamel to get worn and thin as you get older. You might experience more sensitivity or damage. Avoid chewing ice or very hard foods, or at least, chew more carefully and use your strong molars. If you notice increased sensitivity or pain, don’t hesitate to seek treatment. You might have a chip or a crack that needs emergency care.
Get Great Dental Care at Edgewater Dental Arts
At our Edgewater office, our team wants you to be happy with your smile your entire life. Our services keep your teeth healthy, treat any problems, and restore your smile if necessary. In a perfect world, you’ll keep all your natural teeth, but if you do lose some as you age, we’re here for you, too. Please contact us today with any questions or to book an appointment!