Oral health is something that we all have to be responsible for from childhood until our golden years. While many of the tried and true pieces of advice remain the same throughout our life (brush multiple times a day, floss, see your dentist), as we age certain changes should be made and some issues need to be addressed.
Many of us forget to visit the dentist at all. It can be years between visits and once we finally are forced to go (because of pain or because we just decide we care about our health) many issues can arise that could have been handled more easily if they were caught earlier. While most people visit the dentist on a yearly basis at best, the advice is to visit your dentist every six months. If you get anxious about the visit, sedation options are always available to make things just a bit less worrisome.
Dry Mouth Issues
As you age, you are more likely to experience dry mouth – also called Xerostomia. It may seem like a minor issue, but it can actually make it harder to break down food. The lack of saliva reduces the ability to get rid of food particles, which can lead to a number of minor issues such as tooth decay, gingivitis, bad breath and gum disease. Until you see your dentist and have the issue under control, drink more water and chew gum to help overcome the problem.
Tooth Loss May Occur
If you start to lose teeth, you are going to struggle to eat. Seeing a dentist is an easy fix and there are many solutions to ensure that you don’t have to struggle with all the difficulties that come from losing your pearly whites. Most are simple procedures and should take very little time to correct.
Use Electric Toothbrushes
While electric toothbrushes were extremely expensive at one point, they are far from it today. Many also brush your cheeks while you are brushing your teeth. As it gets harder to move as you did when you are younger, an electric toothbrush can help you get a solid brushing each time. This is a small and wise investment that can save you many issues down the line. Just don’t brush too hard and follow the instructions carefully.
Reduce Acidic Foods
Acidic foods, such as many juicy fruits, can wreck havoc on your teeth. It is important that you try to reduce the amount of acidic foods that you take in as they can eat away at the enamel protecting your teeth. Sodas and sugary foods, or those high in starch can even cause your mouth to produce its own acid, so watch what you eat to keep your teeth healthy.