Simple tips to keep your smile looking healthy as you age
Our teeth are extremely important; they’re often the first thing another person notices about us and we use them every day. They age with us, but we only get one set so it’s important we continue to look after them as we get older.
See your dentist regularly
Regular trips to your dentist in Essex are the best way to ensure your teeth remain in top condition. Even if you don’t think you’re experiencing any dental problems it’s important to maintain visiting the dentist as their expert knowledge can spot signs of oral cancer and gum disease early and prevent further issues. You’ll likely be recommended to schedule check-ups every six to twelve months.
Make cleaning your teeth as easy as possible
As you get older you might start to find it harder to clean your teeth. These newfound difficulties may be caused by poor eyesight or problems with your hands and arms. Your dentist should be able to guide you in the right direction of methods and aids to make this easier.
A great start is a well-lit area and a magnifying mirror. You can also use an electric toothbrush, which can help in two ways; the larger barrel of the handle can make it easier to hold for those with limited grip strength and finger dexterity and the oscillating head will do a lot of the work for you.
Add flossing into your routine
If you don’t already, you should add flossing into your routine. Flossing is an essential part of the comprehensive teeth cleaning process as it allows you to reach a large portion of your teeth that cannot be cleaned by brushing alone. Depending on your preference you can choose between traditional flossing wire or interdental brushes.
Looking after dentures
Even if you have had to have your teeth replaced with full or partial dentures it’s still paramount that you care for your mouth and gums. You should gently clean your gums after removing your dentures to keep them healthy. If you don’t your gums can become sore and inflamed (often symptoms of something more sinister) and wearing your dentures will become very uncomfortable. Dentures should also be brushed daily and soaked in a cleaning solution overnight.
Minimise dry mouth
As you get older it’s possible you may be taking medication and certain medications can be the cause of xerostomia – known commonly as dry mouth. If you’re regularly experiencing dry mouth you are more likely to get tooth decay, mouth infections and bad breathe. You can take a few simple steps to combat dry mouth such as drinking frequent sips of water, chewing sugar-free gum, sucking sugar-free sweets and using an alcohol-free mouthwash. Remember to speak to your dentist if this is a problem you’re having as they can provide you with personalised advice.
These tips should help you establish the foundations of an effective oral health care plan, but always ask your dentist if you require any advice.