Adults can develop unique dental challenges after the age of 50 that can affect how they look and feel. When a combination of appropriate materials and technologies are used by a dentist to treat these challenges, excellent results can be achieved. The quality of dental care has improved significantly over the last few decades. By today’s standards, it is realistic to expect the majority of people over the age of 50 to have most of their own teeth. A good way to increase the likelihood of this happening is by taking advantage of the many effective ways in which modern dentistry can help prevent gum diseases and help keep teeth healthy.
Regular Dental Visits
In life’s later years, even people that have previously had no dental problems can begin to develop cavities, weak enamel, plaque, tender gums, tooth sensitivity and chronic bad breath. Therefore, it is crucial that they visit their dentists at recommended intervals to screen for problems that might arise. There are also effective, over-the-counter dental care products that have been especially developed for this age group.
A Healthy Diet
Eating a healthful diet can also help alleviate dental problems in older people. By avoiding foods that contain artificial preservatives and sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar, wheat flour and partially hydrogenated oils, one can prevent the body from becoming overly acidic. Too much acid in the body can increase the amount of bacteria that can cause cavities and can increase inflammation.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin C can help promote gum health and prevent the collagen in the gums from breaking down and becoming tender. Tender gums can lead to painful gum disease. Kiwis contain a high percentage of Vitamin C, as do cherries, oranges and limes. Phosphate and calcium help keep the natural Ph levels in the mouth balanced. They also help prevent cavities and gum disease by killing unwanted bacteria. Cheese and yoghurt are rich in these nutrients. An increase in saliva helps neutralize the bacteria that lead to cavities. Eating celery can help with this, as can drinking green tea. It also helps to drink a lot of water throughout the day. Dark green leafy vegetables also provide many minerals and vitamins that can help keep the teeth healthy.
American Dental Association, “Diet and Dental Health.”
Glassman, Paul, DDS, MA, MBA. “Oral Health Quality Improvement in the Era of Accountability.” Pacific Center for Special Care. December 2011.
Mills, J; Schuman, NJ. “A Clinical Approach to Dental Nutrition Among the Elderly: a Description and Discussion of Geriatric Dental Nutrition.” Journal of Tennessee Dental Association, April 1999.
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Preventative Dental Care for Seniors
The single most important thing one can do to help achieve good oral health is to visit a dentist regularly for cleanings and oral exams. Problems that are detected early tend to be easier to treat and are much less likely to develop into more serious issues such as tooth loss.
Brushing the teeth at least twice a day and flossing once each day can also help cut down on dental problems.
Any person that has not seen a dentist in at least 6 months should schedule an appointment right away.