Throughout our lives, we develop our fair share of habits- some good and some bad. At a young age, we’re taught that caring for our dental health is one of the best habits to establish. But if that’s the case, then why do 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 lose one or more teeth? Unfortunately, tooth loss and gum disease are major problems for seniors. However, Dobson Ranch Dental Care is here to help, and it starts with your regular dental visits. Still, there are things you should be doing outside our office to help mitigate poor dental health.
1. QUIT THE TOBACCO
Did you know that smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease as non-tobacco users? It’s true! Tobacco, whether it’s chewed or smoked, has an awful effect on your gums and teeth. Not only does the nicotine cause teeth discoloration, but it can also lead to the deterioration of your gumline. So, if you want to maintain great oral health as you age, it’s time to put the tobacco down. If the sound of going cold turkey scares you, there are great alternatives and patches out there to try and stop your addiction.
2. EAT A WELL-BALANCED DIET
It might seem obvious, but the foods you eat have a significant impact on your oral health care from the inside out. Some foods, like broccoli, apples, and milk promote healthy teeth and bones. Other foods, like leafy greens and cheeses, can help polish your teeth and keep them looking shiny. Following a well-balanced diet isn’t just for your oral health, though. It’s solid life advice. Still, there are some acidic foods you should only eat in moderation, like fruit juices, sodas, and some types of bread.
3. USE ANTI-BACTERIAL MOUTHWASHES
Not all mouthwashes are made the same. Some promote teeth whitening while others are great for younger people. But when it comes to caring for your oral health as a senior, you should be using an anti-bacterial mouthwash. These solutions fight the bacteria around your teeth and gums, helping to prevent tooth decay and loss. Furthermore, as we age, our saliva production decreases. Saliva is the mouth’s natural bacteria fighter, but when there’s not enough of it, germs and sugars run wild. So, by using an anti-bacterial mouthwash, you’re also supplementing your saliva.
4. REPLACE YOUR TOOTH BRUSH
According to the American Dental Association, you should be replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. Using the same brush for much longer is never a good idea. Bristles can fray and germs accumulate on these surfaces, further decreasing the impact of brushing. When the toothbrush is no longer effective, you might notice it feels flimsy to brush with or you’re not getting to areas like you were before. Replacing this tool every so often is vital for good oral health care as a senior.
5. FLOSSING ON A DAILY BASIS
Flossing is something everyone, at any age, should be doing regularly. Still, it’s even more important as we age. Flossing with standard dental floss is more than efficient to remove bacteria and food particles from between teeth. But, if you prefer the water pick or a water flossing machine, we still encourage that to be done every day. In many cases, flossing right before bed is the preferred time, but you should do what feels right and comfortable for you.
NEVER MISS A DENTAL APPOINTMENT
Finally, the best thing you can do for your oral health as a seasoned patient is to never miss your regular dental cleanings and exams with Dobson Ranch Dental Care. We know your schedule is busy, so we do our best to get you in and out of our clinic in a timely fashion. We proudly serve residents throughout Mesa, AZ, and offer a wide variety of services including teeth whitening, root canal therapy, and periodontal treatment. So, give us a call today at (480) 838-8558.