No matter your age, proper dental health starts with the obvious: brushing and flossing every single day. However, as people get a little older, new sets of dental issues can present themselves, which means pivoting to some new tactics for maintaining strong dental health. Dr. Pete at Perfecting Your Smile cares about all his patients regardless of age, but we also understand that senior citizens have a few extra things to watch out for as they get a little longer in the tooth.
Other than brushing and flossing daily, the following is a look at a few things seniors can do and watch out for as they advance in years.
#1 Watch for Changes in Your Mouth
It sounds scary, but the truth is that the risk of oral cancer increases with age, and certain changes within your mouth could be warning signs. You should call Dr. Pete’s office right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- An uncomfortable spot or sore on your mouth, lip, or throat
- A lump or thick area in your mouth, lip, or throat
- A white or red patch in your mouth
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving your tongue
- Mouth numbness
- Jaw swelling
- Ear pain or hearing loss
#2 Don’t Skip Dental Visits
Everyone is supposed to see their dentist once every six months for cleanings and a general checkup. It can be easy to let these slip or even forget about them as you get older, but it’s important to catch cavities before they get too bad and to keep an eye out for other potential problems. Plus, these cleanings become more essential since enamel can thin with age, making teeth more vulnerable to cavities.
#3 Consider Dentures or Dental Implants
If you’ve lost teeth, you may want to consider dentures or dental implants to keep whatever teeth you have left from shifting or being overly-exposed to potential cavities. Dr. Pete does great cosmetic dentistry, so you can trust him to keep your mouth looking like new.
#4 Be Aware of Dry Mouth
If you are unable to keep enough saliva in your mouth to speak or swallow comfortably, you may have dry mouth. This is important because it can lead to tooth decay or an in infection, neither of which is something dental patients of any age want to experience. It can happen as a result of certain medications, diabetes, or chemotherapy, but your dentist can help solve that problem once you get in touch with them.
#5 Eat Healthy
Certain foods simply are not good for your teeth, and they can be even worse for older teeth. Sugary foods and drinks, tobacco products, and certain alcohols all can be problematic for teeth regardless of age.
If you can do all these things, you’ll maintain solid dental health, both in terms of warding off cavities and keeping gum disease at bay. If you are due for a cleaning or want to ask questions about our dental denture services, give us a call to set up a consultation with Dr. Pete. He’ll do his part to keep your teeth healthy as you get older, but the rest will be up to you!