Our health needs change as we get older, and this is especially true when it comes to the health of our mouths. Medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can cause cavities due to dry mouth. Lowered immunity can leave men and women over 60 more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. And the average age of diagnosis for mouth cancer is 62.
Luckily, you can prevent many of these issues by visiting your dentist for regular check-ups, and by following these five simple tips:
- Keep up with brushing and flossing. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to make flossing and brushing with fluoride toothpaste a priority. Even though it may have been years since you’ve had a cavity, your risk for developing them increases as you get older. Daily brushing and flossing can help prevent them, as well as fend off dry mouth, gum disease and slew of other mouth problems. Also make sure you’re using an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent plaque build-up.
- If you have them, keep your dentures clean. Bacteria can stick to dentures the same way they would your teeth. Make sure you’re cleaning them with the proper solution daily. It’s also best to take them out for around four hours a day to protect the lining of your mouth (check with your dentist for exactly how long you should keep your dentures in each day).
- Kick the smoking habit. Smoking is bad for your overall health, but it can also cause serious trouble for your teeth and gums. Smoking exacerbates gum disease and tooth decay, and can make it harder to recover from oral procedures.
- Load up your diet with good-for-your-mouth nutrients. Your diet plays a big role in the health of your mouth. Make sure you’re eating a nutrient-rich diet full of protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, iron, and vitamins A, B, C, and D.
- And leave out the sugars and starches. Starchy, high-sugar foods can eat away at tooth enamel and amp up plaque production. This can increase the likelihood for tooth decay. If you do want to indulge in sweets, make sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste afterwards.
For more senior oral care tips, schedule your appointment with Whispering Creek Dental today.
Posted on behalf of Whispering Creek Dental