As a person ages, oral health becomes even more of an important issue. Things you might have “gotten away with” when you were younger, such as less-than-stellar flossing habits, you probably won’t be able to going forward. But healthy habits can help your golden years really shine.
First, let’s clear up a common misconception. Losing all of your teeth is not an unavoidable part of aging! In fact, your natural teeth can last a lifetime if they are properly cared for. You should understand that your mouth, like the rest of your body, changes as you age. Teeth nerves become smaller, which consequently makes them less sensitive. Because of this, you may not notice cavities or other problems until it is too late. Regular dental exams become even more important.
Twice daily brushing, as always, is essential. But you may want to shift to a brush with softer bristles. Be sure to floss every day as well. If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them every day. Also, take your dentures out for at least 4 hours every day. Good daily habits are the key to long-term oral health.
There are important considerations if you care for an elderly loved one as well. Keeping them up with their oral hygiene regime is important, of course. But be aware of their eating habits, as eating less can sometimes be the result of denture problems.
If you live in the Shoreline, Washington, area, schedule an appointment with Dr. Lynn Leyde to talk about your strategy for successful oral health.