We all know that our bodies change as we age. As joints give us a bit more trouble, it can be easy to neglect things that don’t necessarily hurt—such as our teeth—even though we really should get them checked out. We hear people all the time say that losing their teeth is inevitable, but this just isn’t true. In fact, if your teeth are cared for properly, it’s possible that they can last you a lifetime.
Your mouth will change as you age. In fact, the nerves in your teeth will likely become smaller. While this isn’t a bad thing, it can mean that you are less sensitive to cavities or other problems. If you don’t get dental examinations regularly, it can lead to problems taking much longer to be diagnosed. In turn, that often means that the issue has worsened.
Caring for Your Own Teeth
If you want to ensure that you keep your teeth for a long time, it’s time to take the following steps to maintain your oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, but be sure to use a toothbrush with bristles that are gentle. If you have a hard time keeping up brushing for two minutes without getting tired, try using an electric toothbrush.
- Use floss or another flossing tool to clean in between your teeth at least once daily.
- If you wear dentures at all, or partial dentures, clean them on a daily basis. You should be removing your dentures for at least four hours every day. We recommend taking them out at night.
- Drink tap water whenever you are thirsty! This water contains fluoride, which is wonderful when it comes to protecting your teeth from cavities and decay. This advice goes for all ages, including children.
- If you are a smoker, it’s time to quit. Aside from being at a higher risk for lung cancer and other cancers, smoking will also worsen any issues with gum disease, tooth loss, and tooth decay.
- Visit your dentist regularly! Only they can make sure that everything is working smoothly and that there is no need to dental surgery or other corrective measures.
If you maintain healthy brushing and hygiene habits at home, make good choices when it comes to your diet and your lifestyle, as well as see the dentist often, you will be doing as much as possible to care for your teeth.
Caring for a Disabled or Elderly Loved One’s Teeth
When you have a parent, a spouse, or a friend who has a hard time keeping their teeth healthy on their own, it can be hard to know what to do in order to help. The most important things to remember are to help them keep their mouth clean with reminders to brush and floss each day, and to make sure they are seeing a dentist regularly.
Just doing these things can help you make sure that your loved one keeps their mouth healthy. However, if your loved one struggles with brushing and flossing, make an appointment with a hygienist or dentist who may be able to give you ideas for a new approach. There are dentists out there who specialize in care for the elderly and the disabled. For those loved ones who wear dentures, keep an eye on their eating habits. If you find that they are having a hard time eating or do not eat as much as they typically do, denture issues might be the source.
For those of you with a loved one who is bedridden, it can be easy to neglect their oral health. However, please do your best to keep an eye on things, as the bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lunch and cause pneumonia.
Contact Kruckman Family Dentist
If you have any questions about caring for your teeth or a loved one’s teeth, don’t hesitate to ask us! We care about the health and well-being of the residents of Waconia and the surrounding areas, which is why we are proud to serve all of you. Your dental health will change over time, but proper care and knowledge will keep your smile bright well into your later years.
Regardless of whether you need dental surgery, cosmetic dentistry services, or general cleaning, we are the team to call. Reach out now to schedule your dentist appointment!