Oral Health for Older Adults
Good oral health is important for everyone, from birth on. As you grow older, it becomes even more crucial to maintain your teeth and gums. That’s because adults over the age of 50 have more tooth decay, more cavities, more tooth loss, and more gum disease.
The rising cost of health care has made it difficult for many people on a fixed income to afford regular, preventative dental care. If older adults can’t afford even preventative care, it means that they will be more likely to suffer from decay that can lead to cavities and periodontitis. Older adults who have dental insurance are much more likely to visit their dentist twice a year for checkups.
Unfortunately, 3 out of 4 older adults pay their dental fees out of pocket due to non-existent dental coverage for care and procedures. That means that a common procedure, such as filling a cavity, can run more than $500, and a root canal more be more than $2,000.
Additionally, older adults are more likely to have a dry mouth because of side effects of medication that is used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and diseases. Without enough saliva in your mouth, you are more likely to harbor bacteria that cause decay and infections.
Maintaining Your Oral Health as an Older Adult
To ensure that you are properly maintaining your oral health, you should:
- Always use fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, since fluoride provides protection. Be sure to also floss every time you brush.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco. You’ll be more likely to develop periodontal disease, which if left untreated, can cause your teeth to loosen or even fall out.
- Continue to see your dentist every six months for a cleaning, x-rays, cancer screenings, and to ensure that your gums are healthy.
Wexford Oral Health Office
If you have any questions about how to keep your teeth healthy throughout your lifetime, be sure to talk to your general dentist. King Orthodontics in Wexford can also answer oral health and oral care questions. Our orthodontic services Wexford and Pittsburgh offices are always available to help.