Many seniors stop looking after their teeth, but this is a prime age, which is why it is vital to pay special attention to your teeth. If you have been receiving dental care throughout your life, you should never stop. There are certain regular practices that are vital for seniors.
Regular dental visits
You still need to make regular visits to the dentist. Not only is this important for your overall dental health, but it can save you money on expensive treatments such as gum disease treatment.
Professional denture care
Most people opt for a temporary repair kit that can easily be purchased over-the-counter. However, a professional checkup is necessary. If you find that your dentures don't fit well, you can get a denture reline.
Consider an electric toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes are not only easier to use but also fun. They are particularly ideal for seniors because most experience decreased mobility, which is often as a result of arthritis.
Most seniors opt for dentures when they have missing teeth. However, dental care has improved and dental implants are a better alternative primarily because they have a more natural feel and look.
Dental risk factors associated with seniors
The reality is that elderly teeth are not able to withstand the wear and tear of normal day life. This can be attributed to several reasons:
Lack of fluoride
Fluoride is important for strengthening teeth; this can go a long way in preventing tooth decay. Sadly, the popularity of bottled water has contributed to damaging teeth enamel. This is a major risk factor for seniors.
It is estimated that over 90 percent of seniors suffer from receding gums. This exposes the roots, thus making them susceptible to various dental diseases that affect the crown. This is why root decay is a common issue for many seniors.
Arthritis is common among seniors, often causing reduced mobility, which makes it difficult to do otherwise normal things like hold a toothbrush or floss.
Dryness of the mouth is a common problem with seniors mainly because of medication due to various health problems. Saliva is necessary to wash away food particles and also to neutralize acidity, which promotes tooth decay. A dry mouth is susceptible to cavities and other dental issues.
Just like cavities, plaque can affect people of all ages. They not only host decay which causes bacteria, but they also stain teeth, giving it a yellowish tinge. To avoid plaque from building up, floss and brush your teeth on a daily basis. You can also buy a plaque rinse or get it from your dentist.
Root decay is not common among many people. It develops when gums recede, leaving the roots exposed. Prolonged exposure leads to tooth decay. The most obvious signs of root decay are a yellowish tint or notches that may appear around the gum line.
Diet changes as people age and most seniors opt for softer food which may be lacking essential nutrients. Sugars and carbohydrates contribute to cavities, and this is why seniors should watch what they eat and include vitamins in their everyday diet.
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Article Added on Monday, July 21, 2014
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