If you’re a Hendricks County senior, as you age, you need to continue to maintain good dental hygiene practices. Because – unfortunately – chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory disease, can affect senior oral health by causing dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease to worsen.
In fact, by the age of 65 and older, 25% of older Americans will have lost all of their teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gum disease and/or tooth decay are the main causes for this tooth loss. One out of every three seniors has untreated tooth decay. And almost 23% of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have severe gum disease.
But Hendricks County seniors don’t have to be one of these statistics. With good senior oral health care, your teeth can last the rest of your life. To help you keep tooth loss, tooth decay and gum disease at bay, follow these senior oral health tips to maintain, and even improve, your oral health.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth against tooth decay.
- Try an anti-sensitivity toothpaste if you experience pain due to hot or cold foods and beverages. If the problem persists, see Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry in Hendricks County. Sensitivity could signal a more serious problem like a cavity or cracked tooth.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day.
- Talk to Dr. Erickson if you have problems holding a toothbrush or floss due to arthritis. He can offer suggestions to help you.
- Follow Dr. Erickson’s instructions regarding denture care, if you’re a denture wearer.
- Drink fluoridated water.
- Avoid tobacco use, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco. Tobacco can increase your risk for gum disease, oral and throat cancers, and oral fungal infection. Chewing tobacco also increases your risk of cavities if it contains sugar.
- Limit the amount of starchy snacks, candy, sugary drinks and cough drops you eat or drink a day. If you do snack, brush your teeth, or at the very least, rinse your mouth with water, afterward.
- Manage dry mouth due to medications by drinking water or using sugar-free gum, candy or mints to moisten your mouth. You might even want to try saliva substitutes or oral moisturizers.
- Check your mouth regularly for sores, lumps or bumps. If they don’t go away within two weeks, see Dr. Erickson.
- Talk to your physician or Dr. Erickson if you experience sudden changes in taste and smell.
Above all, if you want to maintain good senior oral health, see Dr. Erickson every six months for a dental checkup. During this appointment, he can address any dental issues you may have and recommend a treatment plan. Call 317-745-4400 to schedule your appointment today, so you can keep your smile healthy as you age.