October 9, 2018
Every year, more Baby Boomers become senior citizens. The senior spectrum ranges from active 90-year-olds to declining 70-year-olds. There is, however, one thing all seniors can do to improve their health and possibly extend their longevity, too. They must take care of their teeth and gums. A Skokie dentist can do a lot to help older patients avoid tooth loss and other dental problems. Read on to learn what you can do for your smile throughout the aging process.
Nothing beats good oral hygiene with daily brushing and flossing. But, these practices could become more difficult as a person ages. Arthritis and other issues involving manual dexterity can make holding a toothbrush challenging. If you use a manual toothbrush, try switching to an electric or battery-powered. Floss holders are available, too. Both of these can make daily oral hygiene easier and more comfortable.
As people age, they often need to take medicines to support general health. Unfortunately, some of these may cause dry mouth. In fact, dry mouth is a confirmed side affect of more than 500 medications.
A decrease in saliva production leads to dry mouth. For some people, the condition is uncomfortable. Also, it may lead to other problems such as an increased risk of cavities and periodontal disease. Having a dry mouth can make swallowing more difficult and bad breath more noticeable.
Here are some tips to help you avoid a dry mouth:
- Sip water throughout the day
- Chew sugar-free gum
- Suck on sugar-free candy
- Use a moisturizing mouth rinse
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Teeth need healthy gums for support, so the appearance of your smile largely depends on the condition of your gums. Gum disease can be a particularly troublesome problem for aging adults. In fact, it is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States.
When you brush, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward your teeth and gums. This allows you to clean the surfaces of your teeth as well as along the gum line where plaque can accumulate. Plaque is the precursor to gum disease. If not removed daily, then the bacteria that hide in plaque can begin to destroy gum tissue. Flossing is just as important as brushing because it removes plaque from between your teeth.
A smile is a beautiful thing at any age. See your dentist routinely and you’ll be proud to share yours with the world!
Meet the Doctor
Dr. David B. Schwartz, DDS has been a practicing dentist since 1988 and has been in solo practice since 1992. He studied biology at Indiana University in Bloomington and then earned his DDS at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. In addition to general dentistry, he specializes in sleep dentistry and is a highly regarded implant dentist in Skokie. To get more tips on how to take care of your smile as you age, you can reach Dr. Schwartz through his website.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.