Tooth loss and dentures have always been associated with old age. We have an illusion that as we get older it is inevitable our teeth will fall out and we will have a mouth full of dentures. This negative belief causes us to not do the things that would help us keep our teeth for a lifetime.
While it is true that as we get older we are more likely to have problems in our mouth, but tooth loss is not inevitable. With the right steps, you can keep the teeth that you are born with and avoid dentures. Remember your first set of teeth is free and it is cheaper to maintain a healthy smile than get a new one!
It is important to visit the Dentist every 3 to 6 months depending on your individual conditions. We are able to spot any abnormalities that occur in the mouth. (Cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer.) Not all symptoms cause discomfort or pain so you probably don’t know if you have problems developing. It is extremely important to visit the dentist regularly to catch problems early before major problems develop and we can make sure you are doing the best preventive practices at home.
Little cavities and minor gum inflammation does not hurt and if you let them grow they will lead to much more extensive and expensive problems so when the dentist finds a cavity, don’t delay fixing it
The germs in your mouth will start to reform dental plaque literally 24 hours after a professional cleaning so you need to maintain the clean and healthy teeth that our hygienists give you. The key is to keep those pesky germs out of your mouth every day. Brushing, flossing and using a waterpik daily will remove the plaque and bacteria that form on our teeth that lead to cavities and gum disease.
Healthy eating habit is beneficial to our bodies in many ways. One of the best things you can do is to consume fewer calories. Avoid “empty calories”. That is foods that have lots of calories that make us gain weight but have little nutritional value such as foods containing lots of sugar and alcohol. One of the biggest problems is snacking especially on foods that contain a lot of salt and sugar. Try to substitute more fruits and veggies and drink water rather than sodas or “energy drinks” that have lots of sugar and caffeine.
Dry mouth is common as we age. Many medicines for common medical conditions such as high blood pressure, allergies and cold medicines tend to cause dry mouth. Oral tissues are more subject to periodontal disease when they are dried out and are less able to fight off bacteria. Many people with dry mouth resort to chewing gum and eating mints and candies that often have sugar and that can cause lots of cavities and gum disease. Let us know if you suffer from dry mouth and we can give you suggestions. Of course drinking 4 to 6 cups of water a day is good for anyone!
You don’t have to lose your teeth because you are aging.
Take the right steps and you can have a healthy smile for your lifetime!
Dr. Jerry Simon
Dental Care of Stamford