It’s a fact that we are all living longer, making it more important than ever that we look after our teeth in old age.
Due to the advancements in oral health care products and better education, the youth of today have a completely different dental outlook. In fact, many people reaching their 50’s will have had twice as much dental work than their children will have by the time they reach 50.
For more information on how to take care of your teeth, continue reading this helpful guide brought to you by Churchfield Dental Centre.
What Happens to Our Teeth as We Age?
Over time, the teeth endure a lot of wear and tear, even daily chewing can eventually start to wear teeth down. As you age your teeth become thinner and more prone to breakage. Even if you have always taken good care of your teeth, you have no doubt noticed that your gums are receding and that your teeth have yellowed or greyed over the years.
The top issues associated with teeth in people between 50-70, are:
- Failing tooth repairs
- A significant number of fillings
- Poor gum health leading to gum disease
- Tooth loss
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
Aging and some medications can cause loss of moisture in our mouths. Less saliva in the mouth to wash away bacteria makes us more vulnerable to tooth decay, infections, and periodontal or gum disease. Poor gum health can lead to swollen, bleeding gums, cavities, and eventually tooth loss.
How to Take Care of Your Teeth in Old Age
So, how should you take care of your teeth in old age? Here’s some top tips.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, this will help protect your gums, whilst effectively removing plaque
- Consider swapping to an electric toothbrush to reduce traumatic tooth brush wear to teeth and gums and provide a more consistent and thorough clean.
- Floss daily, it is just as important to remove the plaque from between your teeth as it is to remove it from the surface.
- If you suffer with a dry mouth, don’t suck sweets to increase your saliva flow, the sugar will increase your risk of tooth decay. Instead, speak to your dentist about artificial saliva products.
- Visit your dentist and hygienist for regular check-ups.
- Drink lots of water, aim for around 6-8 cups daily.
- Eat crunchy vegetables and fruit with their skin on as they act as a great natural plaque remover.
- Avoid smoking.
Treatment Options to Improve the Appearance and Feel of Aging Teeth
It’s not just a person’s smile that is affected when teeth are broken or missing, chewing can become impaired too which can lead to indigestion and reduced enjoyment at meal times. Speech can also suffer as we tend to use our teeth to form certain sounds, and without them, speech can become slurred.
Wondering what the options are to improve the appearance and feel of your teeth as you age? Here’s some.
As we age the outer layer of the tooth enamel wears down exposing the underlying layer which is yellower. Food and drink as well as smoking can also cause the teeth to appear yellow.
Teeth whitening can help to improve tooth discolouration. To whiten your teeth a set of dental impressions of your teeth are taken by your dentist, then some moulds of your teeth are made (whitening trays) and given to you to take home along with a box of dental whitening gel. The gel is then placed into the trays and worn for between 2-4 hours a day over a 7 to 10 day period.
Composite bonding can hide discolouration, small chips, cracks or crooked teeth.
Cosmetic bonding is a dental procedure in which a tooth-coloured resin material is applied to teeth to restore or improve person’s smile. The great thing about cosmetic bonding is that anaesthesia is often not necessary at all and just one visit is required to carry out the treatment.
Porcelain veneers are thin porcelain shells that are custom made to fit directly over your teeth.
Porcelain veneers create a very life-like and natural tooth appearance, they recreate the natural look of teeth while also providing strength and resilience comparable to natural tooth enamel, directly over your teeth.
Dental implants are a simple, secure and permanent solution to the problem of failing or missing teeth.
With dental implants, a new tooth is built and inserted into the same position as the missing tooth. They are indistinguishable from natural teeth and provide an alternative to uncomfortable dentures or bridgework. For more information, read our blog post on dental implants.
Visit your Hygienist
Probably the single most important thing you can do to preserve your smile is visit the hygienist regularly!
Most people lose teeth through gum disease – a completely preventable problem. Regular hygiene appointments and good home care mean you can prevent gum disease and keep a healthy smile for life!
Booking Your Dental Visit
So, the key to healthy teeth in old age is regular dental visits for preventative care. Teeth also need to be cleaned regularly to prevent tooth decay. People who keep up their dental care will enjoy a beautiful smile that will last well into their golden years. To book your dental visit today, call our Barnsley Dental Centre on 01226 771471.