As people get older, some may start to develop health problems. Whether it is due to lifestyle, genetics, or simple overuse, we may think that this is just a part of life. The same for teeth. You may think that you will eventually lose them. Yet this doesn’t have to be the case! By taking care of your teeth and mouth, you can maintain your dental health as you age. Here are six simple tips to encourage you:
- Stay hydrated: Because of increased blood pressure and less efficient salivary glands, seniors tend to have drier mouths. But the solution is simple – keep drinking water! This helps wash away debris and reduces bacteria buildup. Reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine as they dry out your mouth.
- Bon appetit!: The secret to living well – and having healthy teeth – is to eat well. The nutrients from fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, and other healthy foods will keep your teeth and gums strong, and reduce the risk of decay.
- Brush and floss: Yes, these two old faithfuls will keep harmful bacteria and plaque from affecting your smile. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric one so that you can be gentle yet still remove food and other particles.
- Clean your dentures daily: Even with dentures, you still need to have good oral health. Clean your dentures every day with a denture cleanser to prevent bacteria from thriving, and to remove food debris that can get into your gums. Also, be sure to remove your dentures for a few hours every day to keep your gums healthy.
- Stop smoking: As much as smoking is bad for our lungs, it is also bad for your dental health. Did you know that smoking can contribute to a multitude of dental issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer, and diminish your sense of taste and smell? It is never too late to stop.
- Schedule those checkups: Know the best way to take care of your teeth as you age? By seeing your dentist. They can find minor issues before they become major ones, and suggest ways to help your teeth age as gracefully as you.
Throughout our life, it is important to take care of ourselves – and that includes our teeth. By following the tips above, you can continue to eat, drink, and be merry well into your senior years.