Is it possible to keep your smile healthy for a lifetime of smiles as you age? It is possible, and in fact encouraged. While you become more vulnerable to cavities as you age, you can take steps to ensure excellent oral health.
Dry mouth is a culprit that encourages cavities and gum disease and is largely a side effect of using prescription medications. Healthy saliva flow is vital for a healthy oral environment and can be stimulated by staying hydrated, avoiding diuretics, chewing sugarless gum and mints, and if necessary, saliva drops may be prescribed.
Practicing strong oral hygiene habits includes cleaning your pearly whites every day using ADA-approved products–these are proven to be both safe and effective:
ADA approved toothpaste with fluoride can help you keep your tooth enamel strong. It helps to use a soft-bristle toothbrush to protect tooth enamel and gum health. Medium or firm bristles can contribute to receding gums and worn tooth enamel, especially if you are not gentle while brushing. Your toothbrush head should fit comfortably in the mouth so it can reach all tooth surfaces. When the bristles become worn, buy a new toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if you are using an electric toothbrush).
Another indispensable step is to floss between teeth and along the gumline to remove plaque and food particles where a toothbrush is unable to reach. Any flossing tool works, so choose one that works most effectively for you: dental floss, dental piks, oral irrigators, etc. are all good choices.
As with normal teeth, dentures also require daily cleaning to maintain a healthy oral environment. No matter whether you have partial or full dentures, clean them daily using only cleaners designed for denture care. And finally, remove your dentures daily for the time period recommended by our dentist.
Our practice also recommends annual professional dental cleanings and checkups, unless you have gum disease, then more frequent visits may be advised. As you age, the nerves inside the tooth pulp become smaller and less sensitive, so you might not feel pain warning you about decay or gum disease. In addition to gum disease, we will also check for signs of oral cancer, which often go undetected because it doesn’t always cause pain until it has advanced.
Checkups are most effective when you let us know which medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements. It will also help us to know of any allergies you have, or any medical conditions you are being treated for. And finally, if you have dentures, please bring them in for your exam.
Dr. Todd Eder and our Brownsburg Family Dental Care team in Brownsburg, Indiana are here to help you maintain your oral health for a lifetime of smiles. If you have any questions, concerns, or need to schedule a visit, please call us at 317-852-4593 today!