You have probably heard about the importance of good oral health your whole life, but it’s even more important to take proper care of your teeth and gums once you reach about 60 years old. If you assume losing teeth is an inevitable part of aging, think again! With the right dental care from Dr. Evanson, you can continue maintaining a healthy smile throughout your golden years.
Oral Health Concerns for People Over Age 60
Your teeth haven’t been prone to cavities since you were a child, so you might be wondering why cavities are suddenly a problem now that you’re becoming an older adult. The fact is, once you reach age 60, you’re entering the second round of cavity-prone years. Here are the oral health factors that tend to affect older adults more than younger people:
- Cavities caused by medications: Dry mouth, a common cause of cavities, is a side effect of more than 500 medications, including many geared toward older adults, such as those for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. This is why it’s so important to tell Dr. Evanson about any medications you’re taking.
- Increased risk of gum disease: If you fail to keep up with good oral health habits as you age, you could develop gum disease. This is when the bacteria in plaque irritate your gums, causing swelling, redness, and bleeding. Gum disease is often painless until the advanced stages, which can lead to tooth loss. This is why routine dental check-ups are so critical in your golden years.
- Mouth cancer: The average age of people diagnosed with mouth, tongue, or throat cancer is 62 years old. Early stages of cancer are often symptom-free, so routine cancer screenings from Dr. Evanson can provide early detection and effective treatment.
- Dental costs: Many older adults don’t realize that Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental cleanings. Still, this care is essential for your oral health. Anticipate dental costs so your smile doesn’t suffer once you’re on a fixed income.
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Smile as You Age
To keep the above oral health concerns at bay, follow these tips for maintaining a healthy smile:
- Brush twice a day. Consider switching to an electric toothbrush to ensure you do a thorough job.
- Floss once a day.
- If you wear dentures, clean them daily.
- Relieve symptoms of dry mouth by drinking more water, chewing gum, and using oral moisturizing products.
- Quit smoking to reduce the risk of gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss.
- Schedule routine teeth cleanings every six months or as recommended by Dr. Evanson.
Caregiving for an Elderly Loved One
If you have a parent, spouse, friend, or other elderly loved one who has difficulty maintaining a healthy mouth, you can help in two primary ways:
- Remind your loved one to brush and floss daily. If he or she has trouble doing this independently, speak with Dr. Evanson for tips regarding your loved one’s unique situation.
- Make sure your loved one visits the dentist regularly. This is where the most in-depth care and cancer screenings can take place to ensure your loved one maintains good oral health.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Evanson
At Evanson DDS, we strive to provide the best dental services for every member of your family, from the youngest child to the oldest adult. We offer both preventative and restorative dental care to keep everyone smiling with the greatest of confidence.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy smile in your golden years, or to schedule your next dentist appointment, please call our Parker office today at (720) 409-0008 or contact Dr. Evanson online.Leave a reply →