As we age, there can be a lot of challenges to be able to maintain oral hygiene at its best. You may start seeing your teeth looking darker or even experiencing bouts of dry mouth. Although these may not obstruct functioning, you can be very uncomfortable with them.
Contrary to a common belief that it is normal to experience tooth loss when you age, healthy teeth should not fall off even if you reach the age of 100 years. But due to several reasons, a tooth may fall out or it must be removed by a dentist. One reason for tooth loss is tooth decay.
Tooth decay is a problem that may be more common in children. This can be because of the sweets they eat and some may not be doing their oral hygiene chores dutifully. But seniors may also be as vulnerable as kids. This is because of the many physiological changes that happen during aging. But tooth decay can be avoided among seniors. Here all eleven ways to limit tooth decay as you age:
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Brushing is a basic thing to do to ensure oral hygiene. Never let a day pass without brushing your teeth. Brushing after breakfast and before bedtime will ensure that all food particles are removed from your teeth. It also gets rid of plaques that are newly deposited on your teeth.
Floss Once a Day
Flossing can finish the job where brushing may not be able to work effectively. That is to remove food particles that are embedded between teeth. Make it an everyday habit and not only when you feel uncomfortable with a strand of lean meat that has found itself in between two of your tooth.
Level Up with an Electric Toothbrush
The advantage of an electric toothbrush is that it can readily access hard-to-reach places. It is also more efficient at removing plaques. For seniors, it is especially helpful with those who have problems with their hand mobility, like those with arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Using an electric brush can also help seniors to concentrate.
Check Out for Brushes with Soft Bristles
Whether using a traditional or electric toothbrush, you should always go for brands with soft bristles. This will prevent scratching the enamel, which is the protective covering of a tooth. If the enamel is thinned, tooth decay may be easier to occur.
Don’t Push Down Your Gums When Brushing
Don’t make the mistake of pushing your toothbrush down to the gums. When gums are pushed down some more, it will expose the tooth root to bacteria which may cause decay. This is one common cause of tooth loss.
Don’t Brush Immediately After Eating
After eating can be the time when our teeth are at their weakest. This is because the mastication of food may have thinned the enamel. If you brush just after eating, you may be thinning the enamel more. This will open the teeth to be easily penetrated by tooth-decaying organisms. Take about 30 minutes to one hour before brushing.
Avoid Drinking Soda
If you are avoiding sweets like chocolate and cakes to protect your teeth, drinking soda is as harmful if you still don’t know that sodas are full of sugar themselves. Aside from your teeth, it is best not to take in soda for your overall well-being. Instead, drink a lot of water.
Rinse With the Right Mouthwash
As seniors are predisposed to dry mouth, the use of mouthwash may further make your mouth even dryer. Choose mouthwash brands that are not too harsh. It is not good to skip mouthwashes as they help remove plaques and prevent cavities.
Observe Medications That Dry Your Mouth
Some medications may cause dry mouth. Dry mouth can contribute to tooth decay because it can help plaques to adhere more to the teeth. You can tell your doctor about it so he can change the medication.
Clean Your Tongue as Well
When brushing, you can also brush your tongue. This is to ensure that plaque-causing bacteria that are embedded on the tongue are removed. There are toothbrushes that have tongue brushes.
Continue Visiting Your Dentist
Even if you do all the above tips as dutifully as possible, it may not assure you that you will be free from teeth problems, like tooth decay. Being a senior, visiting your dentist is a must as you are more prone to oral health issues.
Seniors should never let their guards down when it comes to their health. You may think that oral health is not as important as other aspects of your well-being. It is. It can have serious implications on your way of living and overall well-being.
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