Actor Anthony Hopkins once ironically stated, “Getting old ain’t for the faint of heart.” How true that is! But even if the rest of your body isn’t as young as it used to be, your smile doesn’t have to go with it. In fact, with diligent attention to oral care, mature adult teeth and gums can withstand the effects of aging.
Of course, it’s not just the cosmetic aspect of a beautiful smile that should concern you. Healthy teeth and gums are intrinsically linked to overall health, confidence, and the ability to enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle. Be true to your teeth and they won’t be false to you!
Dr. Alexie Aguil and his team at Exquisite Dentistry help patients of all ages achieve peak oral health. He’s often asked by his patients for advice on how to keep excellent oral health as a senior. If you’re trying to turn back the clock on your oral health, consider these tips as you strive for a healthier, brighter smile.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body and Mind
As a mature adult considering your oral health, you actually have to think beyond your teeth. The condition of your teeth and gums have a direct impact on the overall function of your body. Most older adults consider a visit to the dentist one of the least important health appointments on their calendar—and the easiest to cancel. However, this is a short-term solution that can cause long term problems you’ve likely never even considered.
If you have to limit what you eat due to cracked teeth or diseased gums, it can affect your overall nutrition. The ability to chew determines what and how much you can eat. You want to avoid becoming the older adult who can no longer enjoy a meal because of the sheer effort it takes to chew foods you love—a nice steak, a chewy bagel, or corn on the cob—because the texture is too much of a battle.
In addition, there’s the discomfort and infection that comes with gum disease and cavities. We all remember the agonizing pain from a childhood toothache; it doesn’t get any less painful as we age, and periodontal disease can be even worse.
Of course, gum disease doesn’t only affect your mouth. Far from it. Study upon study has proven gum infections are contributing factors to heart disease, stroke, diabetes—and yes, even erectile dysfunction. Early research also indicates a connection between the bacterium from chronic gum disease and cognitive dysfunction, including Alzheimer’s. Of course, surgeons understand the link between gum disease and overall health. This is why a trip to the dentist for an oral care exam is often required for mature adults before major surgery. Many surgeons will not perform a scheduled procedure until they receive a clean bill of health from the patient’s dentist.
How to Keep Excellent Oral Health for Seniors at Home
One of the biggest boosts to at-home oral wellness is ultrasonic toothbrushes. They can dramatically eliminate bacteria and food caught between teeth. Pair this with regular flossing—ideally, once or twice daily—and you’ve made major inroads into limiting potential problems. Don’t forget that the key to good brushing is following the 2×2 principle; brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day for maximum results.
Older adults often ask Dr. Aguil about teeth bleaching products. While most packages of teeth bleaching products feature young models, they can provide good oral care for mature adults as well. Whiter teeth can take years off how you look and be a big confidence booster. If you need a more intensive approach, in-office treatments are the way to go. Consider Exquisite Dentistry’s Zoom Laser teeth whitening. We can help your teeth turn eight shades whiter in about an hour!
How to Keep Up Oral Health for Seniors at the Dentist
Dental care is a lifelong habit. Good oral care for mature adults includes regular teeth cleanings. Cleanings every three to six months are essential to prevent issues and to identify and treat problems. Like most everything else in life, early treatment is less invasive, time-consuming, and costly.
No matter how well we brush and floss at home there are areas, especially below the gum line, where it takes a trained hygienist to reach. Without it, bacteria and infection can grow and compromise the supporting bone and also lead to foul breath.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to take good care of our teeth, problems can arise. The idea is to minimize teeth replacement—it’s a lot better to have just one or two tooth implants versus a full set of dentures.
Older patients should also regularly have a thorough oral cancer screening to check for any signs of cancer. Oral cancer can be extremely treatable if found early. Our VELscope Vx is an advanced oral-screening device that can catch oral cancer in its earliest stages.
Seniors Shouldn’t Ignore Their Oral Health
If you’ve been putting off a visit to the dentist, stop by Exquisite Dentistry of West Hollywood. You’ll quickly find that our practice is unlike most practices you’ve visited in the past. Our dental spa atmosphere will immediately relax you the moment you walk into our comfortable lobby. Relax with a warm blanket and enjoy your favorite Netflix show while receiving your oral care. Mature adults often take advantage of our comfortable sedation dentistry, which allows the ultimate in comfort for anxious patients.
Don’t delay your oral care. Contact Exquisite Dentistry today and schedule your consultation. We’re ready to give you plenty of reasons to smile in your golden years!