A common misconception is that losing teeth is inevitable, but this isn’t true. If teeth are given the proper care and attention they deserve than the teeth should be able to last. Knowing that it is possible to keep your teeth is definitely something worth smiling about!
Aging and Teeth
As you age, the teeth and mouth are continuing to change at the same time. The nerves in the teeth become smaller, making the teeth more likely to suffer from tooth decay or other dental problems. Medications can also lead to tooth decay in some individuals since side effects often cause dry mouth. Additionally, the nerves at the core of the tooth tend to lose their sensitivity with age, which means that the teeth may not be able to feel certain things that they typically would. For example, if an individual develops a tooth infection, but can’t feel the pain from the infection, it could be some time before the infection is noticed and treated. Scenarios like this one could result in a root canal procedure or possibly even a loss of the tooth entirely.
According to Harvard Health, the rate of tooth decay in individuals over 65 now outpaces schoolchildren. This doesn’t mean that if you are over the age of 65 you will have a cavity, but it is possible. This just means that the teeth need to be taken care of as well as possible in order to prevent any negative effects. If you don’t want any teeth to fall out or rot, you’ll need to be on board with keeping up with routine dental appointments and following proper at-home oral care.
What You Can Do:
While it may take some effort at first to stick to a healthy oral health routine, it isn’t impossible! Not to mention, the more you stick to a good oral hygiene routine, the more second nature it becomes.
Some helpful tips to consider for a positive oral hygiene routine are as follows:
Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush twice a day– Once in the morning and once at night before bed.
Floss your teeth at least once a day with dental floss. If you can try to floss before bed this would be the most beneficial to remove the bacteria that has build-up between the teeth during the day.
If you notice a lot of plaque build-up, it may be beneficial to try an oral rinse nightly such as Listerine to try and limit the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
If you wear a full or partial dentures, remember to keep these clean each day and soaking them in a safe cleaning solution overnight.
Visit the dental office at least once every 6 months for routine cleanings and exams.
Try to refrain or quit from smoking since smoking increases the risk for gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. Talk with your doctor if you may be looking for advice on how to quit smoking.
If you are worried that your teeth may fall out one day, start taking good care of them now! It may seem difficult at first, but we promise it’ll get easier and your teeth with thank you for it. Please contact Costa Family and Cosmetic Dentistry if it has been over 6 months since your last visit to the dentist. We gladly welcome new patients to our office! We have a location in the Great Falls area for your convenience.