08 Sep Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums Through the Retirement Years
Health concerns and physical self-care needs change over time, but with preventive care and efficient at-home oral hygiene habits, many patients can easily maintain healthy teeth and gums through their retirement years. As with patients of all ages, it is important to visit the dentist for regular dental checkups, professional teeth cleanings, and to detect early signs of any potential problems. At-home care should include flossing at least once a day, brushing at least twice a day, and the use of a fluoride rinse or other oral rinse as directed.
Brushing, flossing, and the use of an oral rinse or mouth wash all work together to rid the mouth, teeth, gums and tongue of food particles and debris, acids from juice or foods eaten, as well as plaque and biofilm buildup on teeth and just under the gum line. Brushing and flossing also stimulate the gum tissue, promoting blood circulation for better health and faster healing in cases of gum irritation or infection. Advanced stages of gum disease can profoundly affect heart health, making it essential to care for teeth and gums at all ages and stages of life.
As with patients of all ages, it is important to visit the dentist for regular dental checkups, professional teeth cleanings, and to detect early signs of any potential problems.
Since many patients take vitamins and medications later in life to benefit overall health, discussing these supplements and medicines at dental checkups can help counter side effects that affect oral health. Many prescription medications have side effects that include dry mouth, which helps bacteria increase in the oral cavity promoting an environment for gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. Likewise, some medications affect teeth directly and indirectly, creating discoloration or weakening the bone structure that supports teeth in the jaws. A well-informed dentist can instruct patients in ways to counteract the negative side effects of necessary medications and keep a watchful eye for signs of trouble.
A healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats or proteins will promote overall health and energy in the body. Hydrating with sufficient water not only helps maintain health, but hydration is key to saliva production and saliva keeps the mouth cleaner. Some older patients have trouble with dry mouth and a prescription mouthwash or dry mouth rinse can help.
When it comes to maintaining oral and dental health, the best approach is working closely with your dentist and engaging in diligent self-care habits. For more information about managing individual and family oral health, contact Friendly Dental Care at 740-687-6105 today.