Although tooth loss is associated with old age, it’s inaccurate to assume that age itself is the reason why people lose their teeth. In fact, if tended to properly, teeth can last throughout an individual’s lifetime. As people grow older, maintaining dental checkups twice per year is highly recommended since the teeth become less responsive to oral issues, such as cavities or gum disease. Understanding what steps to take to properly care for one’s teeth will provide individuals the opportunity to maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.
It’s highly recommended for individuals to brush their teeth twice daily with soft bristles for a minimum of two minutes. Flossing at least once per day is also essential to remove all of the excess food and bacteria that the toothbrush is unable to reach. For those who wear partial or full dentures, it’s imperative to follow the cleaning instructions provided by the dentist to ensure they are being cared for properly. Most instructions require individuals to remove them before sleeping and allow them to soak.
Another great tip is to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and to drink tap water that contains fluoride. Fluoride is known to contain cavity-fighting properties that protect the teeth. Another tip is for smokers to eventually quit smoking. Smoking dries out the mouth, which decreases the mouth’s ability to produce saliva that removes excess food and bacteria.
Not having effective salivary glands for extensive periods of time will eventually lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
Lastly, it’s very important for people to maintain their annual dental checkups, especially as they grow older. Since the teeth start losing their ability to respond to oral issues, dentists will inspect the mouth to check for any unfelt symptoms that could indicate serious problems that, if left untreated, could lead to tooth loss.
Because about 70% of people aged 65 and older have periodontal disease, it’s very important for individuals to follow the tips listed above. Fortunately, studies have shown that there is a higher percentage of older Americans avoiding tooth loss today than there have been in the past. However, studies also reveal that older people are still developing cavities at rates equal to or higher than children. Maintaining regular appointments with a dentist will help prevent those cavities from developing into worse oral issues.
At McBride Dental, we offer preventative dentistry to help our patients maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime. We perform X-rays, deep cleanings, and other dental procedures to help our patients avoid developing any future oral complications. If we find any oral problems in their early stages, we can successfully treat and further prevent them from developing into complicated issues later on. This helps our patients maintain a healthy mouth and avoid needing expensive treatments down the line. If you are in the San Diego area and need a dentist, contact us today at 760-471-1003 to schedule an appointment.