With age, it is very important to look after the health of your teeth. This applies to timely dental treatment and good oral hygiene. As you age, you also need to make changes in your dental care and dental hygiene so that your efforts are more effective. In general, keeping your teeth healthy as you age requires ongoing, proper care and a willingness to change routines to suit your needs.
Method 1 of 3: Changes to Dental Care
Step 1. Buy another toothbrush
As you age, it will become more difficult for you to brush your teeth the way you did before. As you get older, you will need to brush your teeth with a soft bristled brush. Also, if you have arthritis, it will be difficult for you to brush your teeth with a regular toothbrush. In this case, buy a brush with an extra long handle or even an electric toothbrush.
- A soft toothbrush will help protect your gums and aging enamel on your teeth.
- A long-handled toothbrush allows you to keep your hand lower while brushing.
- An electric toothbrush will allow you to achieve a thorough cleaning without using too much force.
Step 2. Avoid dry mouth
With age, dryness appears in the mouth. This can happen due to changes in the mouth or from taking medications that cause dry mouth. Dry mouth can affect dental health as saliva protects teeth from decay and helps to clean them.
- To avoid this, drink plenty of water - keep it in your mouth for several seconds, only then swallow.
- Suck on sugar-free candy or hard candies, or chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
Step 3. Tell the dentist about your medical conditions
If you develop an illness as you get older, tell your dentist about it, as this information may affect how he or she treats your teeth. Diseases such as diabetes, heart failure and cancer can have a real impact on the dental health that a dentist will have to deal with.
Step 4. Tell your dentist about the medications you are taking
As you get older, you are more likely to take more medications. Certain medications can affect the health of your teeth. Tell your dentist about any medications you are taking so that he / she will take this into account when providing dental care.
Blood thinners such as aspirin and warfarin can cause severe bleeding in the mouth during dental treatment
Step 5. Consider seeing a dentist who specializes in treating older people
There are dentists who specialize in the dental treatment of the elderly. This allows them to provide appropriate treatment for people with special needs.
To find dentists who specialize in treating older people (geriatric dentistry), visit the Dental Association website or get a referral from your dentist
Method 2 of 3: Taking good care of your teeth
Step 1. Get professional teeth cleaning every six months
As you age, it is very important to have your teeth cleaned regularly. This will not only keep your teeth clean and healthy, but it will also allow the dentist to find problems before they become serious.
As we age, the nerves in the teeth become less sensitive. In other words, you simply will not feel the problem if one suddenly arises. That is why regular dental check-ups are so important in old age
Step 2. See your dentist if you have any dental problems
If you think there is something wrong with your teeth, make an appointment with your dentist immediately. Even if you are afraid of possible pain or are on a tight budget and are concerned about the cost of dental treatment, you should still get tested.
- Treating a minor dental problem will cost you less than treating it more severely. There are also various payment options for treatment, such as installment payments, insurance payments, or treatment with a dental student.
- Toothache can affect the amount of food you eat. If you have a toothache and they interfere with your eating, their treatment should be started immediately.
Step 3. Talk to your dentist about how to protect your teeth
Talk to your dentist for protective measures you can take to protect your teeth from wear and decay. The two most common methods are fluoride varnish and fissure sealing.
- Teeth covering with fluoride varnish is a procedure in which a liquid with a high concentration of fluoride is applied to the teeth. It will strengthen the enamel on the teeth and protect them from tooth decay. The procedure can be performed every six months.
- Fissure sealing is a procedure in which filling material is applied to the fissures in the teeth. This coating protects the teeth from bacteria and food particles that can get stuck in the fissures. The duration of the coverage can be up to 10 years.
Method 3 of 3: Dental Hygiene
Step 1. Brush your teeth twice a day
Maintaining good dental hygiene is very important with age. The main component of good dental hygiene is brushing your teeth twice a day. This will remove food particles and bacteria that cause tooth decay.
The sensitivity of the teeth may increase with age. You can reduce the sensitivity slightly by brushing your teeth with a soft brush and toothpaste for sensitive gums
Step 2. Floss your teeth daily
Aside from brushing your teeth, remember to brush in between. It is impossible to do this efficiently with a toothbrush. Buy dental floss or a dental floss holder instead.
- If you don't floss your teeth, plaque, food particles, and bacteria will build up between your teeth.
- Be careful when you floss below your gums to avoid damaging them, especially if you are taking blood thinners.
Step 3. Make sure you are getting enough fluoride
It is very important to get enough fluoride as you age, as it helps protect your teeth from wear and decay. It is especially important for older people to protect the delicate surface of the teeth under the edge of the gums, as the gums tend to decrease with age.
You can get fluoride from fluoride pastes, fluoride mouthwashes, or fluoride water, which is found in many cities
Step 4. Brush your false teeth
If you have a fully or partially removable denture, remember to clean it. Take it off every night, rinse it thoroughly, soak it in a special solution and rinse it before putting it in your mouth.
- When you receive your denture, they will tell you how to clean it properly. Typically, you will need to soak your denture overnight and clean it with a dentifrice.
- Be sure to clean your mouth after removing your denture. Remember to brush your gums, tongue, and palate.
Step 5. Don't smoke
Smoking can seriously damage your teeth over time. Among other health problems, smokers have a higher risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss.
Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation programs available to you. It's never too late to quit smoking
Step 6. Be careful with your teeth
To keep your teeth healthy for a long time, it is worth taking care of them. In addition to good dental hygiene, you should also avoid biting or chewing on solid foods such as ice. Chewing on solid food can lead to chipped or broken teeth. Such damage must be repaired by a dentist.
If you break a tooth, see your dentist immediately. Chipped enamel on teeth can make the tooth more prone to decay. The dentist will be able to protect the chipped areas and repair the broken tooth
Step 7. Do not drink drinks that can harm your teeth
Carbonated and acidic drinks, such as soda and juices, can eat away at tooth enamel. Alcohol can also damage your teeth. If you are concerned about your dental health, skip the aforementioned drinks.