Do you know how to keep your teeth and gums healthy after age sixty? This is important because as you get older you are increasingly at risk for cavities. A common contributor is dry mouth caused by taking prescription medications. Dry mouth is a side effect from certain medications can make you more prone to cavities because healthy saliva flow is vital for a healthy oral environment.
Of course, the most important thing you can to do to protect your oral health is to clean your teeth every single day. You will also want to enlist the help of ADA-approved products which have been proven to be both safe and effective. What does this mean for you, the consumer? That any advertising on the packaging is actually proven. Read on to find out how to maintain your healthy smile for the ages:
Consider using an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste to keep your tooth enamel strong. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to protect tooth enamel from wearing down faster, as well as protect your gum health. Medium or firm bristles can contribute to receding gums and worn tooth enamel, especially if you are not gentle while brushing. Your toothbrush head should fit comfortably in the mouth so it can reach all tooth surfaces. When the bristles become worn, buy a new toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if you are using an electric toothbrush).
After brushing those pearly whites, floss between teeth and along the gumline to remove plaque and food particles where your toothbrush can’t reach. Any kind of flossing tool works, so choose one that works most effectively for you: dental floss, dental picks, oral irrigators, etc. are all good choices.
If you are currently wearing dentures, you will want to clean them every day as you would your teeth. It doesn’t matter whether you have partial or full dentures, clean them daily using only cleaners designed for denture care. And finally, remove your dentures daily for the time period recommended by our dentist.
Along with daily routine oral hygiene, you will want to come in for regular checkups during the year. We recommend two cleanings and checkups a year. If you have gum disease or are cavity prone, more frequent visits may be advised. As you grow older, the nerves inside the tooth pulp become smaller and less sensitive, so you might not feel pain warning you about decay or gum disease. In addition to gum disease, we will also check for signs of oral cancer, which often go undetected because it doesn’t always cause pain until it has advanced.
To make your checkups more effective, please let us know which medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements. It will also help us to know of any allergies you have, or any medical conditions you are being treated for. And finally, if you have dentures, please bring them in for your exam.
Dr. Young Lim D.D.S. and our Stephens City Family Dentistry team in Stephens City, Virginia are excited to help you maintain your healthy, confident smile for a lifetime. If you have any questions, concerns, or need to schedule a visit, please call us at 540-869-2600 today!