After we fly past our 50th birthday, lots of health issues suddenly begin to show themselves. If you’re female, problems such as osteoporosis need your full attention. For men, osteoarthritis could result from younger days playing sports or from the previous injury.
And that’s just the beginning of medical changes as we age.
But one area you need to keep on the radar is your mouth. After all, you don’t want to join the 25 percent of Americans over the age of 65 who have no remaining teeth. So, Drs. Kalil and Kress have some advice for your aging teeth.
Don’t forget the fluoride
Cavity-prone years and fluoride seem to go together. But that’s a bunch of advertising mumbo jumbo. Kind of like halitosis and Listerine. The truth is, all human teeth need fluoride, whether age 9 or 90. Remember, fluoride is important for the remineralization of our teeth. This is the process where the teeth regain the minerals they need after they demineralize. Fluoride helps this process, which is important to ward off tooth decay. Older people have an increased risk for cavities versus those in middle age. This is especially true around fillings that have been in place for some time.
And don’t buy into the fluoridated water “conspiracy” theories. It’s not a plot to brainwash you; it’s a plot to strengthen the enamel in your teeth, and that’s a good thing. If you’ve got a couple of cavities of late, we can even help strengthen your enamel with one of those tasty fluoride treatments you may remember from your youth.
Old age and dry mouth don’t go hand in hand, but some facets of aging can increase your risk for dry mouth. Taking regular medications or certain chronic conditions can increase your risk for dry mouth. And with dry mouth comes an increased risk for cavities and decay issues. If you wear dentures, dry mouth can affect the quality of their fit.
So, what can you do? Use a “moisturizing” mouthwash or dry mouth spray. Chew sugar-free gum, as it encourages saliva production. You can use an “artificial saliva” product; these products have ingredients that closely mimic your real saliva.
Mind your dentures
If you have dentures, take care of them as diligently as you would natural teeth. Clean them with a denture-specific toothpaste (regular toothpaste are too abrasive), and be sure you clean them every day. And don’t forget to use a soft toothbrush on your gums and tongue to remove any bacteria and food particles.
Finally, your twice-yearly professional cleanings and exams with the team at Kalil & Kress are also very important. Call us at (603) 880-7004 to make your appointment.