Taking care of our teeth as we grow older

As with other parts of our body, our mouths change as we grow older. One of the misconceptions of aging is that loosing your teeth is inevitable. This is not true. If taken care of properly, your teeth can last a lifetime. If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout your life, a healthy mouth makes a big difference.

Adopting good oral home care, maintaining a healthy diet and maintaining regular dental check-ups will help ensure that you have a healthy mouth. This is important whether you have natural teeth, implants or wear dentures.

Tips for Maintaining and Improving Your Oral Health

  • Brush twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
  • Clean between your teeth at least once a day with floss or another flossing tool; ie. Proxy brushes.
  • Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are. Many sources of drinking water are no longer fluoridated. Topical fluoride can be applied at your hygiene visit. Many toothpastes and mouthwashes provide fluoride.
  • If you experience dry mouth, choose a mouth wash that is alcohol free. Alcohol contributes to dry mouth. Note; many medications can cause dry mouth.
  • If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least 4 hours per day. It is best to remove them at night. Remember to have an oral check-up twice a year, even if you wear full dentures.
  • If you have implants, remember that implants can also develop plaque. Implants should be cleaned at least once a year.


Dental Care-giving for a Disabled or Elderly Loved One

How do you help a parent, friend or spouse who has a hard time maintaining their dental care? Most importantly, remind them and/or assist them with daily brushing and flossing. Your dentist and hygienist can help provide you with helpful tips if this is challenging. It is important to prevent bacteria from taking charge of your mouth and causing more problems. For those who wear dentures, pay close attention to their eating habits. If they not eating as much as usual or are having difficulty chewing, it is possible that denture problems could be the cause or a contributing factor.

Posted in: Dental Care

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