Create a General Dentistry Plan for Good Health as You Age

Posted on: January 6, 2015

General DentistryIn our general dentistry office, we treat patients of all ages and understand how important it is for people to focus on creating good oral health as they age.  While preventative dental care is always important, it is even more so as people get older. Just like heart disease and the risk of cancer increases with age; bone and teeth health can decrease the older a person gets.  Some of this is due to osteoporosis and a lack of calcium in previous seasons of life like during pregnancy.  The more pregnancies a woman has, for example, the weaker her teeth and bones may become.  We can work with you to create a plan to ensure that as you age, your teeth can remain strong and healthy.

Here is what we suggest:

  • Avoid acid.  Foods that are highly acidic can do major damage to your teeth as the acid can start the erosion process.  The acid literally starts to attack your teeth and wear away the enamel that is in place to protect the porous and sensitive dentin underneath.  Unfortunately, as the enamel wears away it cannot grow back, so the best way to avoid sensitive teeth is to prevent erosion in the first place. If erosion starts to occur, we can treat it with a bonding procedure or dental crowns.
  • Drink more water.  As people age, dry mouth can become a problem.  This is a condition where the body no longer produces enough saliva to naturally keep the mouth moist and wash away the bacteria, plaque and food particles that can gather on the teeth.  As a result, the risk of cavities increases and people develop bad breath.  When you drink water throughout the day, you can combat the effects of this pesky condition.  In our general dentistry office, we recommend carrying a water bottle with you so that you never have dry mouth.
  • Brush gently.  Since erosion and sensitive teeth are a major problem with age, we advise brushing gently.  Aggressive brushing or using a hard toothbrush can speed up the erosion process. If possible, use an electric brush because you will get a better clean without having to apply as much pressure.
  • Use fluoride.  You can help to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.  We also perform fluoride treatments in our office, and while this is mostly done for children, it can work well with adults as well.
  • Replace your teeth. If you have damaged or lost any of your teeth, be sure to have them restored or replaced immediately.  Otherwise, you could be putting your mouth at risk for further problems.  For example, when your teeth fall out, the actual shape of your mouth can start to change as your palate shrinks.  This may change your overall appearance and impact your speech patterns.  By wearing dentures, getting a dental bridge or dental implants, you can preserve the overall shape of your mouth.
To learn more about how to keep your teeth healthy as you age, visit our general dentistry office so that we can create a plan together.

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