Dental Health Tips for Seniors

SW PDX JenIf you are 50 or older, than you know the basics of taking care of your teeth – what you may not know is that the needs of our teeth change as we age. Dentists in Hillsdale Portland Dr. Tiffany Goldwyn and Dr. Howard Jarvis encourage patients of any age to understand how to best take care of their smiles to ensure the best possible dental health.

How Our Teeth Change as We Age

Just like the rest of our lives, teeth change as we get older. They become stained, weaker and more brittle, requiring more specialized care for good dental health.

No matter how good our dental health habits have been up to this point, it is inevitable that each of us will deal with some form of dental disease, like periodontal disease, as we age. However, the proper care that now has to be incorporated will go a long way toward good dental health.

Brush and Floss Teeth More Often

The basic recommendation for brushing and flossing teeth is to brush them twice a day – once at morning and once at night before bed – and floss once a day for complete dental health. As we get older, it’s a good idea to step this up. For example, consider brushing your teeth after every meal as well as when you get up and while getting ready for bed.

After the age of 50, plaque becomes more difficult to remove and builds up quickly. All of this brushing removes plaque, not giving it a chance to build up at all and negatively effect gum tissue. These strong habits go a long way toward good dental health.

Maintain a Moist Mouth

As we get older, more and varied medications are often required in order for us to remain in good overall health. These medications, however, can often cause a condition called “dry mouth,” which is basically a reduction in saliva and negatively effects our dental health.

Saliva is essential for our dental health, protecting our teeth through neutralizing bacteria and rinsing away food particles that lead to plaque build up. To combat dry mouth, make an oral rinse a part of your dental habits during the day, and consider chewing sugar free gum to help generate saliva.

Go Gentle on Gum Tissue

As we age, our gum tissue begins to weaken and thin, which poses a risk for gum disease. While brushing and flossing throughout the day, be aware that these activities can tear gum tissue, so be as gentle as possible. If your teeth and gums have become sensitive, make an appointment for a consultation by calling Southwest Portland Dental at 503-244-8112.

Increase the Frequency of Dental Visits

While regular checkups may have been fine every 6 months up to this point, it might be a good idea to increase the frequency of your visits to Southwest Portland Dental. This will help Dentists in SW Portland, OR Dr. Tiffany Goldwyn and Dr. Howard Jarvis maintain up-to-date and accurate records on any potential or recurring issues and offer you state of the art dental care and treatment to fit your needs. For your personalized appointment, call Southwest Portland Dental at 503-244-8112

1 Comment

  1. Ben Aghabeigi gdc on July 20, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Nice and informative tips . Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications and cancer treatments. Unfortunately, this means that dry mouth often affects seniors, who tend to be on more medication as they age.

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