As we age, the way we pay attention to our health has to change. After all, some aches and pains simply slip into becoming “normal”. Taking care of your health starts to shift more towards choosing the right diet, than simply staying active. Instead of worrying so much about how to stay slim and look sexy, we’re more concerned with being comfortable and in overall good health. As you age though, one particular area of importance is dental health. It’s not uncommon for tooth decay to finally catch up with you in your later years. How you tackle your oral health will have a significant influence on the number of trips to the dentist you take. Here are a few easy ways to keep up healthy habits and put a smile on your face.
- Continue a solid brushing routine. Brushing twice daily after meals isn’t just good practice for young children to develop. Whether you always had a good brushing habit or you never quite got there, now is the time to double-down. Continuing these basic healthy practices can keep gum disease and harmful plaque at bay. Plus, since it only takes a few minutes a day, keeping your teeth sparkling clean won’t interrupt your routine. A quick brush and a rinse with an anti-cavity mouthwash are just as sufficient in your 50s and beyond as in your 20s.
- Don’t keep putting off those trips to the dentist. None of us love settling down into the dentist’s chair, but it’s important not to skip those visits. A dentist appointment every six months is enough to keep you in the clear. These visits are entirely routine. Searching for cavities, checking your gums and cleaning your teeth are all normal. Regular visits help your dentist to spot any developing long term issues as well. As your first line of defense and treatment, a dentist visit is the best thing you can do for your mouth overall. Finding a reliable, friendly practice like VSP Dental will do wonders for your comfort level. Of course, there are things to do at home, too.
- Cut down on habits bad for your teeth. We’ve all got one (or more) of them. Smoking cigarettes, crunching on ice, and eating acidic foods are all bad for our teeth. Reducing dental wear is easy when you cut out hard foods. Quitting smoking is good for you, too, and not just for your teeth! Improving these habits will allow you to safeguard your teeth for many more years. Something else to watch out for is dry mouth. It’s a more frequent occurrence as you get older to suffer from dehydration and having a dry mouth. Many special types of mouthwash exist to help alleviate this problem.
- Understand how to care for any dental prosthesis you have. Keeping your teeth is great, but it’s not always possible. When you use dentures, your oral health depends on proper care procedures. Familiarize yourself with the best ways to care for your prosthetic. Excellent denture care takes a little bit of work, but it’s well worth the effort. Not only will they stay in good shape, but your breath will be nicer, and dentures will keep your gums protected, too. Take care of your dentures and they will take care of you.
- Know the warning signs. Even the best health habits can’t account for everything that affects your body. Knowing the signs of potential health issues, such as how to spot gingivitis, can help you seek early treatment. There is also the slight chance that you may develop oral cancer. Familiarizing yourself with signs and symptoms, plus dental visits can keep you safe. Catching disease in early stages always makes treatment a simpler path. Remember, just because nothing hurts now doesn’t mean it won’t in a few months! Stay on top of your oral health.
Keeping more of your teeth as you age is easier than ever with modern standards of dental care. However, your participation is necessary as well. By reinforcing healthy habits and developing new ones, your mouth can stay in excellent shape. Smile with pride and confidence because you know what it takes to keep your teeth in good condition. Don’t forget to ask your dentist any questions you may have about the changes your mouth is experiencing. They’re always happy to help!