As we age, more health issues can arise. Unfortunately, it can be easy to ignore your dental health if you are dealing with other health concerns.
If they aren’t being attentive to their oral health, seniors have a higher risk of gum disease or tooth decay that can result in them eventually losing their teeth. However, this can be prevented if you are willing to take the time to care for your teeth.
While you can’t necessarily avoid darkening teeth, you can keep them healthy with proper brushing and a good dental hygiene routine. If you aren’t a senior yet, these tips provided by your McAllen dentist can provide you with healthy teeth for years to come.
For those who need elder dental care or a family dentist, Heroes Dental is here for you!
The Statistics About Aging Teeth
Because Medicare doesn’t include dental care, many older adults struggle with their oral health. Here are a few statistics to understand what seniors face as their smiles age:
- 13% of seniors between 65 and 74 years of age have complete tooth loss. This jumps to 26% for adults over 75. People who have lost their teeth tend to switch to only eating soft foods. However, this means you miss out on important nutrients.
- Many medications can cause dry mouth. Seniors tend to take more medicine and may have conditions like COPD that increase the likelihood of gum disease.
- 96% of seniors have had a cavity in their lifetime. 1 in 5 also have untreated tooth decay.
- Oral cancers are typically diagnosed in older patients. The median age for being diagnosed with mouth cancer is 62.
How To Avoid Dental Problems as You Age
It’s quite simple – if you take extra care of your teeth, you will suffer fewer dental problems as you age. Here are a few tips from your family dentist in McAllen, TX, that can help you keep a healthy smile for longer.
1. Address Teeth Grinding Early
If you grind your teeth, you’ll wear down your chewing surfaces faster. Talk to your McAllen dentist about a night guard or other options.
2. Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Saliva production can go down as you age, and many medications for conditions like heart disease can cause dry mouth. Because your saliva is essential to protecting your teeth, you’ll want to ask your doctor about the side effects of any medications you’re taking and also talk to your McAllen dentist about special kinds of toothpaste or mouthwashes to help relieve your symptoms.
3. Avoid Hard Foods
Enamel thins out with age, which means that seniors are more likely to experience fractured teeth or similar issues. Avoid biting down on ice or hard candies.
4. Watch Your Diet
Seniors already know that they can’t enjoy the same foods they could before. Make sure you stick with foods that are good for your teeth to keep them strong. Tooth decay and gum disease can cause massive damage to your teeth if you indulge in too many sweets and sugars.
5. Step Up Your Oral Health Game
One of the best things you can do as a senior is to keep up with your dental health. Regular cleanings twice a year will help keep your smile healthy. You’ll also have the chance to bring up any concerns about dexterity or how to keep up with your dental hygiene when you have trouble gripping the toothbrush or floss.
Visit Your McAllen Dentist as You Age
It can be hard for seniors to make it to the dentist, but keeping up with checkups can help them stay healthy. Don’t wait until you’re losing teeth or are in pain to visit a dentist’s office in your area.
Heroes Dental to keep your family’s smiles shining – from little heroes to grandma and grandpa.