Aging and Dental Health
Many people believe that losing teeth as you age is inevitable, but this isn’t necessarily true. If you take good care of your teeth, they will last, despite the fact that you are ageing. But that means paying attention to oral hygiene and paying regular visits to your local dentist in Vancouver.
The nerves in teeth become less sensitive as we age, so if you’ve always relied on feeling a toothache as a means of detecting dental problems, you will need to change your habits if you hope to keep your teeth. Waiting till you notice a problem means that it will be further advanced before it is attended to, increasing your chances of losing teeth.
Tips from the American Dental Association Include:
- Brushing your teeth twice daily.
- Using a toothbrush with softer bristles.
- Flossing at least once daily.
- Regular cleaning of dentures.
- Going without dentures for around four hours daily.
- Not sleeping with dentures in place.
- Drinking fluoride enriched tap water.
- Quitting smoking to reduce your chances of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Going for regular dental check-ups.
If you’re starting to have difficulty holding a brush or floss owing to arthritis, flossing devices and electric toothbrushes can make your task easier.
You should also be alert to a problem known as xerostomia. It’s a situation in which your mouth doesn’t’ produce enough saliva, and it can hasten tooth decay. If you experience dryness of the mouth, you’ll feel the discomfort, and you should mention it to your dentist, as he or she can help you to overcome the tooth decay problems related to this condition.
Tips for caregivers
Caregivers need to ensure that their charges remember to brush their teeth twice daily, and should book regular dental appointments. When brushing and flossing become difficult for your loved one, discuss it with your dentist to get tips that can help their teeth to remain healthy.
Elderly people who wear dentures may be unwilling or unable to tell you if they are suffering discomfort from their false teeth, but their eating habits can supply you with an important clue. A reluctance to eat may indicate that dentures are a poor fit rather than that your patient isn’t interested in the food.
Clean teeth are very important, even when elderly people are unable to get up from their beds. Poor oral hygiene can even lead to pneumonia owing to inhaled bacteria. If the person you are caring for is unable to brush their own teeth, a dentist or oral hygienist can help you by showing you how to brush another person’s teeth.
What’s important in dental check-ups for the ageing?
Of course, a dentist will look for tooth decay problems. Extractions become more complicated as we age, so attending to cavities early is an important step. Mouth cancers are also much more easily treated when detected early, and a dentist will screen for this problem. Dentures, if any, should be taken along so that the dentist can assess whether they fit correctly and make any necessary adjustments.
With proper care, teeth can last a lifetime.