The Best Advice on Dental Health for Seniors

Snapshot Of The Big Picture

When we think of going to the dentist, we typically think about clean teeth and fresh breath.  However, it’s important to understand your oral health is actually a snapshot of your overall condition.  It appears many health concerns could be linked with oral health, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis.  By taking an active role in your oral hygiene, you can contribute positively to your overall health.  Similarly, ensuring you keep up with routine exams means your dentist can address issues as they arise, and help to nip trouble in the bud.

Keeping Up The Routine

Routine dental exams should remain part of a health-focused lifestyle in your senior years.  Some experts point out certain oral health concerns are more likely to surface as we grow older, such as cavities, gum disease, and mouth cancer.  When you visit your dentist, a typical exam will assess your teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth to ensure there are no signs of concern.  Canyon Gate Dental notes sometimes people think that if they wear dentures, there is no longer a need to attend routine checkups.  However, not only will the visit give your dentist an opportunity to evaluate your oral health, there will also be an assessment to ensure your dentures still fit properly.  Just like everything else, our mouths change as we age.

Is It Time To Switch?  

In addition to the expense, there are other reasons why people don’t go to the dentist.  If you aren’t going very often, it might be time to change. explains there are certain signs you should consider switching dentists, like if the office seems unclean, they skip checking you for cancer, or they recommend extremely expensive procedures that aren’t health-related.  If you change dentists, there is certain information you should try to take with you, such as copies of recent X-rays, a copy of your history, and anything your new dentist requests.  If you use an appliance of any sort, such as a mouthguard or dentures, take that to appointments as well.

Orthodontics Are An Option

Believe it or not, it’s never too late to have orthodontic treatment. If you have misaligned teeth that are causing more dental issues as you age, take heart knowing you have options. Braces, whether metal or tooth-colored, clear aligners, braces that fit behind the teeth can help make the necessary adjustments that provide a more comfortable mouth and an easier time taking care of your teeth.

Note that most dental plans won’t cover orthodontic work, so you’ll most likely have out-of-pocket costs that can determine your choice. Braces commonly run into the thousands, with the average price ranging from $5,000 to $6,000 dollars. On the other hand, alignment systems can provide the same results for half the price and in less time, as long as you don’t have any major issues. For example, byte, which uses HyperBite technology, provides results in as soon as three months and sells for between $1,895 and $2,295. Talk to an orthodontist to determine the ideal treatment for your situation.

Routine Hygiene

Tending to your teeth and gums is of increasing importance as you age, and you can play an active role in maintaining your oral health.  Make sure you brush and floss after breakfast and before going to bed, and use a fluoride toothpaste when you brush.  Flossing is the perfect time to take a look at your mouth and check for any changes.  Pay attention to anything unusual, such as sores, patches, swelling, or numb areas, and if they persist beyond two weeks, be sure to connect with your dentist.  

Note that if you wear dentures, they should not cause soreness or discomfort after the initial adjustment period.  Dentures also require routine care, which not only keeps them looking good, but can also extend their life, and it helps your mouth stay clean and healthy.  Clean your dentures daily with a denture cleaner, and brush them much the same way you would your teeth, but be sure to use a denture brush for the process.  You can also use an ultrasonic cleaner to give them a thorough cleaning.  

Dental care is more than ensuring a pretty smile and fresh breath.  Visits with your dentist can help you find minor issues before they become major ones.  Make sure you take great care of your mouth, and you’ll have plenty to smile about!

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April 5, 2021


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