Maintaining your oral health becomes even more important as you age. As the body changes, so do the conditions in your mouth, and there are some adjustments you can make to your dental care routine to keep your teeth healthy.
Whether you have all of your natural teeth, have dentures or partials, or haven’t had any dental work in the past, it’s important to take care of your teeth over 55. Ridgetop Dental in Sterling, VA is here to support you and your oral health in all stages of life.
Fluoride Is Still Important
Fluoride treatments are recommended to children to build strong, healthy teeth because most children’s toothpaste does not contain fluoride. Most adults get fluoride from toothpaste, so these separate fluoride treatments are no longer necessary. However, it’s important to ensure that you continue to get fluoride in your daily routine, whether from toothpaste or mouthwash.
So why is fluoride added to dental products in the first place? Fluoride helps prevent cavities by strengthening tooth enamel. Saliva coats the teeth to help protect against oral bacteria, and added fluoride in your system offers additional strength. Drinking fluoridated tap water is one of the richest sources of fluoride and is recommended to protect enamel against decay as you age
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Certain aspects of aging, such as taking new medications, can increase the likelihood of having dry mouth. Having a dry mouth increases the amount of oral bacteria that can damage teeth over time. In addition to keeping your mouth comfortable, saliva production naturally washes away food particles and the bacteria that feed on them. This prevents tooth decay and cavities. Dry mouth can also negatively affect the fit of your dentures, causing chafing between your gums and your dentures.
If you suffer from dry mouth, there are a few changes to your lifestyle you can make to reduce your symptoms. Moisturizing mouthwash or sprays are available to help with this condition. Chewing sugar-free gum, which encourages the production of saliva. Artificial saliva, which closely mimics real saliva, is also available.
If you find these tips do not help the condition, you can also consult your doctor or dentist. If your dry mouth is caused by medication, adjusting your dose or trying a different medicine can help alleviate certain symptoms.
Long-Term Dental Work Maintenance
Millions of people are missing teeth in the United States, and even more have had dental work done. Losing teeth becomes more common with age, but any dental work you’ve had in the past might need maintenance, too. In addition to protecting against losing teeth, make sure you’re visiting the dentist regularly to have any fillings, bridges, implants, or dentures checked.
Implants and dentures, while designed to last a long time, still need maintenance. Take care of dentures and implants just like your regular teeth, and removable dentures need to be cleaned on a daily basis. Check with your dentist if you have questions about how to maintain any dental work you have had in the past.
Don’t Forget about Gum Disease
Whether or not you have all of your real teeth, gum disease remains a serious issue among older adults. However, while it is common, gum disease isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. Maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly can help you prevent it, identify it and treat it quickly.
Dental Care for Seniors in Sterling, VA
A healthy smile is beautiful at any age. Keeping up with good hygiene habits, visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and making changes to your routine as your body needs them will help you keep your smile healthy for years to come. No matter your age, if you’re in the Sterling area and need routine or cosmetic dental care, call (703) 520-7410 or schedule online with Ridgetop Dental today.