We all wish to keep our natural teeth for as long as we can, and for that we require good dental habits. As elders, our teeth and mouth do as well, so we have to prepare ourselves for the problems to come. Knowing what we are against and how to properly deal with it is essential to keep a healthy smile for life.
Here in Los Algodones, Mexico, our dentis ts see the everyday struggles of the patients, so we will tell you what you should be looking out for the most:
Problems to look out for as elders:
Tooth decay and root decay
For elder people, there are several problems that makes it much easier to suffer from tooth decay. Such is the case of dry mouth, which might also be triggered by certain conditions and medication. Dry mouth is when our mouth does not produce enough saliva, which is essential for maintaining the mouth free of bacteria and acids.
As for root decay, this happens mostly due gum recession. Gum recession makes it so the root of your teeth are exposed, and unlike your teeth, they do not have much protection. This gives the bacteria an opportunity to target the roots and attack them much easier.
Also, if you have had dental fillings, it is important to have them checked and replaced if necessary. Decay is always a possibility and there are cases where it happens right under the filling. This is usually the case for chipped, broken and leaky dental fillings.
A big chunk of the elders have a form of gum disease. This might be due several reasons, such as smoking, diabetes or even genetics. The important part is to not leave it untreated, as it grows into gingivitis and then into the worse stage of periodontitis. If you are a smoker or have diabetes, then you are at a higher risk and should be checked.
There is also the issue or having teeth removed, which can mean trouble if they are not replaced. The reason behind this is that the neighboring teeth can shift and move of place, altering your bite. This makes it much easier for food to get trapped and bacteria to buildup plaque and acid. This also makes the perfect place for a gum infection!
Take measures into your own hands
It is important to have a dental visit at least twice a year, even if there are no problems currently. This will save a lot of trouble as they will be examine your mouth and keep track of how it changes. Not only that, but they also offer full cleanings, together with some advise and tips in case you are missing a spot.
The habit of brushing twice a day is essential as well. If you cannot get the brushing motion right, your dentist can recommend you some dental aids to make it easier. This goes too with flossing once a day!
Also, if you have recurrent problems, remember there are a variety of products available in the market. There are toothpastes and mouthwashes specifically for certain problems, which will come very handy.
One last habit to have in mind is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Maintaining a good saliva production proves very important in oral health for elders.