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Aging and Oral Health

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Aging and Oral Health

As we begin to grow older, it becomes increasingly important to take care of our overall health. Our oral health is just as essential to our wellbeing. Just as you need to check your blood pressure regularly, you should also go for regular dental checkups. The expertise of your dentist can ensure that your teeth literally last a lifetime. After all, nobody really likes wearing dentures!

If you’re one of the people who only goes to the dentist when you feel you have a toothache, you need to change your habits. The nerves in your teeth become less sensitive with age, and by the time you feel a toothache, the damage will be much greater. Even if you already wear dentures, looking after your remaining natural teeth is important.

Healthy gums are also essential to your comfort, and your local Surrey dentist can help you to monitor gum health as well as providing screening for oral cancers that could even save your life!

How should older people look after their teeth?

teeth brushing

Obviously, all the regular rules apply – with a few additions that will help you to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

• You know that you should brush your teeth twice a day. This doesn’t change as you age. If an elderly person has become an invalid, caregivers can consult a dentist or oral hygienist to get tips on how to clean someone else’s teeth. To begin with, an electric toothbrush makes the task much easier.
• Have you already guessed it? Flossing is just as important, if not more important, than it was when you were younger. There are handy floss holders that can make your task a lot easier.
• Just because dentures aren’t natural teeth doesn’t mean you can skip cleaning them. Never sleep with dentures in your mouth.
• Ask your dentist about fluoride treatments, and drink regular tap water since fluoride is added. It really does make your teeth stronger and much more resistant to decay.
• If you are still a smoker, quitting isn’t just good for your lungs. Keep your gums healthy and protect your teeth by quitting. Besides, you’ll feel 10 years younger.
• Remember to go for dental checkups every 6 months to keep your teeth in good shape.
• Limit sugary foods. The acids formed by bacteria that feed on sugar really do rot teeth, just as you told your kids when they were little.

Looking after an invalid’s teeth

Apart from ensuring that teeth are regularly brushed and flossed, caregivers should also watch out for denture problems. Getting elderly people to eat can be difficult, but a healthy diet helps to keep their strength up. If you notice that your patient doesn’t eat well, the problem might well be related to ill-fitting or uncomfortable dentures.

Apart from cleaning teeth to prevent decay, you will also be helping to guard against diseases such as pneumonia. The germs that cause it can be inhaled from the mouth. If a person is already ill, their resistance is low, so oral hygiene becomes all the more important.

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