Just like the rest of the body, the teeth are susceptible to the aging process. Even with a lifetime of good oral hygiene, some seniors may face dental issues as a result of general wear and tear. Whether issues are purely cosmetic, such as dental stains, or affect oral health, like tooth decay or tooth loss, restorative dentistry treatments can improve oral health and rejuvenate the smile's appearance.
Although restorative treatments are available, protecting oral health should be a priority for all seniors. These dental care tips for seniors from Chicago, IL dentist Robert W. Hessberger can help.
Dental Care Tips for Seniors
Good dental care is important at every age, but especially during the senior years when the normal signs of aging can become apparent on the teeth.
- Brush at least twice a day: The teeth should be brushed at least twice a day for a full two minutes each brushing. For an effective clean, use small, circular strokes and hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to help the bristles reach into the gum line.
- Floss daily: Flossing is essential for good oral hygiene and should be done at least once a day. When flossing, sweep the floss up and down along each side of each tooth and as far along the gum line as possible.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash: Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing can help remove additional bacteria from the mouth, further reducing the risk of gum disease.
- Practice proper denture care: It's important for seniors who wear dentures to take care of their dentures and not neglect oral hygiene. Denture wearers should brush their tongues, gums, and inside of their cheeks with a toothbrush and toothpaste. They should also clean their dentures with a denture cleanser to prevent oral infections, like thrush, and bad breath.
- Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings: One of the best ways to keep the smile healthy is to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. This is especially important in the senior years when dental wear, gum disease, and tooth decay become more prevalent.
Popular Treatments for Seniors
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of dental procedures to help seniors enjoy restored oral health, dental function, and an improved appearance.
Seniors who are interested in rejuvenating their smiles may benefit from treatments such as teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or dental crowns. Tooth-colored fillings may also be used to replace old metal fillings and restore the appearance of the smile.
For those who suffer from one or more missing teeth, dental implants may be a suitable treatment option. Dental implants are surgically placed posts that act as artificial tooth roots. Dental implants may be paired with dental crowns to replace individual teeth, implant-supported bridges for multiple teeth, or implant-supported dentures for a full arch of teeth.
Find out Which Treatments Are Right for Your Needs
If you are living with dental damage or simply want to enhance the appearance of your smile, Dr. Hessberger can help. To discuss your dental care needs and find out which treatments are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation today.