Maintaining your oral health is important at all ages, but there are some adjustments to make as you get older. Teeth have different needs at different ages, and oral health over 55 has different requirements. Even if you have dentures, partial dentures, or even all of your natural teeth, there are still some things to keep in mind as you age. Learn more about oral health for seniors with Ridgetop Dental in Sterling, VA.
You Still Need Fluoride Over 55
Children need fluoride to help build strong, healthy teeth, but did you know that it’s just as important in adulthood? Research shows that older individuals have a higher risk of cavities, so it’s a good idea to incorporate fluoride into your routine. There are several ways to get fluoride.
Many toothpaste and mouthwashes have fluoride added to make it easy to apply fluoride to the teeth. Fluoride’s benefits are accessible both through topical application — such as through your toothpaste or mouthwash — but should also be consumed. Fluoridated tap water is a recommended way to strengthen teeth. You can also ask your dentist about in-office fluoride treatments if you are especially prone to cavities.
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Getting older itself doesn’t mean you’ll have a dry mouth, but some medications often taken by older individuals can increase your chance of dry mouth. Saliva production naturally washes away food particles and bacteria on the teeth, and some medications can interfere with saliva. Dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay and can also affect the fit of your dentures, leading to chafing between your gums and the dentures.
People who suffer from dry mouth have some options to reduce its effects. Moisturizing mouthwash or sprays can help add moisture to the mouth, and chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production.
Caring for Your Dentures
Almost half of the adults in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and tooth loss becomes more common with age. Even people with dentures need to take care of their oral health and maintain regular checkups with their dentist. Using a toothpaste especially for dentures and keeping them clean will help protect your oral health.
Brushing your gums and tongue with a toothbrush is also highly recommended to avoid bacteria buildup. Oral bacteria can still cause problems if left behind on the gums or on the dentures.
Don’t Forget about Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious problem that needs to be prevented, even in people who are missing some or all of their natural teeth. While it’s common, gum disease isn’t inevitable over 55; it just means that extra care must be taken to ensure oral bacteria doesn’t get out of control. Keeping up with your healthy oral hygiene regimen and regular dental appointments can help you prevent gum disease.
Dental Care for Seniors in Sterling, VA
Oral health requirements change slightly with age. To learn more about maintaining your oral health over 55, contact Ridgetop Dental in Sterling, VA online or call our office to schedule an appointment at (703) 520-7410.