Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums Throughout the Retirement Years

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Thanks to better, more accessible dental care, an increasing number of older adults are able to keep their natural teeth throughout their lives. To avoid the tooth loss (and dentures!) that often accompanied aging in years past, however, patients need to continue to maintain their smiles throughout their golden years.

In many ways, practicing the same oral hygiene regimen you used when you were younger will also serve you well as you age. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily still go a long way toward minimizing plaque when you’re in your 60s, 70s and 80s, just like they do when you’re in your 20s, 30s and 40s!

Of course, professional care from a dentist and hygienists is also essential. Older adults also should continue to visit the dental office for exams and routine cleanings at least every six months.

The risk of gum disease increases in older patients, so the routine exams can spot symptoms of this condition in its earliest stages when it is most easily treated. Your dentist will look for signs like redness, swelling or bleeding in your gums, and if those are present, a deep professional cleaning can help to remove any lingering bacteria that are contributing to the inflammation of the gum tissue.

While you are in the dental office, you will also be screened for oral cancer. Not only will this help to preserve your smile as you age, it can also save your life. Oral cancer that is detected early typically responds well to treatment.

Even if you do experience tooth loss, you have some good options to restore your smile that take advantage of technological advances in dentistry. For example, dental implants offer a structurally complete tooth replacement, and these devices can be used to support a single crown, a bridge or an entire denture.

It is now possible to keep your biological teeth throughout your lifespan. Make sure that you are taking proper care of your smile, and ask one of our seasoned practitioners if you have any questions about oral hygiene for older adults. Contact our team at Anderson Dentistry today to schedule your next visit.