Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums Throughout the Retirement Years

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Research shows that over ten-thousand people retire daily in the United States. Many people lose dental coverage in retirement and become less vigilant about visiting the dentist. Not long ago, retirement often meant artificial dentition for many. Dentures were almost a rite of passage into the golden years.

Now, more and more people retire with a full set of natural teeth, or close to it. The transition into retirement doesn’t have to mean a decline in oral health. There are many steps you can take to maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.

Teeth and Aging

Forty-percent of digestion is completed in the mouth with the chewing of food. Years of constant use and acidic foods can wear down the enamel on teeth making them weaker. Furthermore, your gums naturally recede with age exposing the vulnerable roots of teeth. Many seniors grew up before fluoride was mainstream. They have fillings from childhood that begin to disintegrate, allowing decay to propagate around the edges.

Don’t Skip Bi-Annual Cleanings

Six-month cleanings allow a dentist to clean away hardened plaque that has settled along the deep ridges of the gum line in order to minimize the risk of gum disease. These visits also give dental providers an opportunity to look for signs of more serious problems that may be avoided with early intervention.

Manipulate Your Dental Instruments

Arthritis and other conditions can make it difficult to hold the small, hard end of a toothbrush. Switching to an electric toothbrush can help because they have larger bases that are easier to grasp. Alternatively, you can wrap a sponge around the handle of a manual toothbrush to make it easier to hold. You can also cut a sponge into smaller pieces and stick the pointy end of a flosser into a piece of sponge. This gives arthritic hands something lightweight and larger to hold on to, making it easier to floss.

Visiting the dentist regularly is vital to your oral health. If it is time to schedule a check-up or a cleaning, call our team at Towson Dental Care today.