It used to simply be a fact of life: as you got older, you were more likely to lose your teeth. However, with modern dentistry techniques and advanced preventative oral health services, that's hardly the case anymore.
Even though today's senior citizens grew up in a time without public fluoridation, without dental implants, and even without many of the cosmetic dentistry options now available, it is possible to take good care of your original teeth well into old age. Follow these tips and advice for a healthy smile to keep you looking young, no matter your age.
- Brush and Floss. This tip is no secret, but it's worth mentioning time and again because it's so important. Though most people associate cavities with young children, seniors are also more susceptible to developing cavities because of dry mouth. Brush twice daily and floss every evening.
- Get Regular Checkups. The increased chance of cavities means that your biannual family dentist visit is still crucial. Other, more serious conditions, like gum disease or oral cancer, can be spotted in their early stages with the help of a dentist and addressed before they have a chance to develop.
- Fill in Gaps. A single missing tooth may not feel like a big deal to you, but it can create bigger problems for your jaw and gum health down the road. Some three million Americans have implants, and another 500,000 are expected to get them every year. Fix a tooth gap with an implant now to avoid having to get a full set of dentures later.
- Stay Healthy. A good diet and healthy habits are important for dental health. Drink plenty of fluoridated water, avoid sugary foods, and don't use tobacco. Your teeth and your dentist will thank you!
Healthy, natural teeth are possible at any age. Good habits start at home, but be sure to visit your dentist regularly to make sure that you're doing all you can to protect your mouth for the future that lies ahead.
Oral health is a lifelong endeavor. Take care of your teeth, and in turn, your teeth will take care of you.