As we age, it’s easy to forget which habits we should be keeping every time we enter the bathroom to clean our teeth. However, those who start getting to an older age should consider these four tips specifically. According to your dentist in Renton, older patients are at a higher risk of tooth decay and may need to learn how to clean new prosthetics like full or partial dentures.
Tip #1: Watch Out for Dry Mouth
A dry mouth is a haven for bacteria to grow and thrive in. This will increase your chances of tooth decay and cavities.
While aging doesn’t directly cause dry mouth, it’s more likely to occur with the additional medications and chronic conditions you might already have. It’s also important to manage if you expect to get dentures in the future, as dry mouth can cause chafing between your dentures and your gums.
To combat dry mouth, start using a moisturizing mouthwash or spray as part of your daily oral care routine. Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production as well. For bad dry mouth, you can purchase an over-the-counter artificial saliva which contains ingredients that mimic the real thing.
Tips #2: Don’t Forget About Fluoride
Since older patients are at a higher risk of decay, it’s especially important that you include enough fluoride in your diet. A great way to do this is to drink fluoridated tap water. Make sure your current toothpaste is fluoridated as well to fight off cavities and prevent gum disease. The ADA recommends patients brush twice a day, but if you’re interested in additional protection, you can also ask for an in-office fluoride treatment from your dentist in Renton.
Tip #3: Learn How to Properly Care for Dentures
For patients who are getting dentures soon, it’s important that you know the proper steps to care for them. Use a toothpaste that is specially made for dentures, as traditional toothpaste can damage them. Clean them on a daily basis just like you would natural teeth.
Additionally, make sure you clean your tongue and gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you have partial dentures, floss in between your implants before placing them back in your mouth. If you have questions about denture care, ask your dentist during your next appointment.
Tip #4: Stay Ahead of Gum Disease
According to a study published by the Journal of Dental Research, 64 percent of adults over the age of 65 had moderate to severe periodontitis from 2009 to 2010. Even if you have no teeth and rely entirely on dentures, your gums can still collect bacteria and put your overall health at risk. That means daily oral care is still necessary to keep the mouth healthy.
Got more questions on maintaining your oral health at an older age? Schedule an appointment with your Renton dentist today to learn more!
About the Author
Dr. Sam DK Kim earned his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry after seeing his parents suffer from tooth loss as they aged. Today, he’s a certified prosthodontist and obtained hundreds of hours of training on many facets of dentistry, including dental implants. To learn more about his practice or services, contact him at (253) 277-8767 or visit his website.