Frequently Asked Questions – (Dental Health) Senior Citizen Edition

senior-citizen-oral health

Before we begin I’d highly recommend the orthodontist arlington tx, especially if you happen to be a senior who wants to straighten their teeth!

I get a whole load of emails every single day from seniors all over the world asking me oral health related questions… so to make it easier for everyone I thought I would put together an article of the most commonly asked questions with their answers…

Q) Will I Lose My Teeth When I Reach Old Age?

Not necessarily. If you really look after your teeth throughout your life and ensure that you visit your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis then it is very possible that you can keep all your teeth for your whole entire life! The reality is that you don’t even have to suffer from nasty issues like gum disease and tooth decay as long as you take really good care of your teeth!

Q) Any Specific Issues I Need To be Aware of As I Get Older?

The most common thing that occurs is that as you get older, you will begin to notice that your gums will begin to recede and as a result this will mean that your teeth will become a little more sensitive than usual.

To help you out with regards with this issue, the best thing is to visit your dentist as they will show you exactly how to brush your teeth to ensure that your gums remain as healthy as possible. On top of this they may introduce you to other products that could be of help such as a mouthwash etc.

Another issue is that as you get older you may find it harder to brush your teeth properly because you may be suffering from issues like arthritis which makes it harder to use your arms and hands properly. Or perhaps your eyesight isn’t keeping up with you and so you can’t visually see if you are cleaning your teeth properly.

Once again the best thing to do here would be to speak to your dentist for personalized advice.

If you happen to be a senior who has lost some teeth along the way or perhaps you wear dentures or bridges etc then you may have to implement a special cleaning routine. Of course your dentist or hygienist will be able to guide you on exactly what to do here.

There are some individuals out there that take medication which results in their mouth becoming extremely dry. You might not realize this but saliva actually protects your teeth from issues like tooth decay… thus if you happen to have a dry mouth then seek out advice from your dentist.

Or if you’d rather get faster results then you can get over the counter medication such as artificial saliva which can be extremely helpful.

Sacoor Dental is another great orthodontic practice that will help seniors get truly remarkable smiles in record timing.

Q) Am I Going to Have Issues With My Gums?

Gum related issues usually occur because of plaque buildup. So if you want to keep your gums nice and healthy then you are going to have to slowly but surely make sure that you remove all the plaque that’s in your mouth.

If you are lazy and don’t take the time to remove the plaque in your mouth then you will suffer issues such as gum inflammation which will in the long run cause the bone under your gums a lot of problems! These problems could even result in the tooth becoming loose.

Q) Signs To Look Out For To Tell If I Have Gum Disease?

The reality is that there are a lot of people out there that just don’t know that they are suffering from gum disease. The reason being is that most of the time it doesn’t actually cause any pain. But here are some signs that you should keep a look out for…

1. Your gums bleed every time you brush your teeth

2. You have loose teeth

3. Your gums are receding

4. You have a constant case of bad breath

Of course, you don’t need to have all the signs to have gum disease… even having one is enough of a sign that you have the disease.

Q) Can I Get Tooth Decay in Old Age?

Absolutely. The very plaque that causes gum disease can result in you getting tooth decay… especially when you happen to be eating and drinking foods that contain a lot of sugar in them.

The chances of you getting tooth decay rapidly increase when you have a case of receding gum because the base of your tooth is not covered in any sort of protective enamel.

Q) How Can I Stop Gum Disease and Tooth Decay From Occurring?

It is extremely simple. All you need to do is remove all the plaque that is in your mouth and you do this by making sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day.

Follow the advice below when it come stop brushing your teeth…

> Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. You might in fact want to also look into getting specialist toothpastes such as tartar control and total protection toothpastes.

If your dentist feels like you need it then they may very well prescribe you with toothpaste that contains a really high dose of fluoride.

> Make sure that you invest some of your hard earned money into getting floss. Take this floss and clean in-between each and every tooth at least once a day, preferably before you retire for sleep.

> Try to cut down on the amount of sugary food and drink that you have.

> Do visit your dentist at least once every 6 months to ensure that your teeth are doing good.

Q) What Do I Need To Invest in To Ensure My Teeth Remain Clean

All you really need is a manual toothbrush (any will do) and a fluoride toothpaste of your choice.

To really help you keep your teeth clean and make sure that there is no food stuck in the nooks and crannies you should get some floss.

If you prefer then you might want to consider getting an electric toothbrush. It might be easier to clean every tooth from different angles by doing it this way.

Of course if you are a little confused then just ask your dentist for some advice.

Q) How Do You Know When You’ve Removed All the Plaque in Your Mouth?

You can get your hands on some disclosing tablets which you can get from any dentist and these will show you exactly where all the plaque on your teeth is.

This way you can know exactly which areas you are missing out on and next time you are going to be able to focus your brushing there.

There you have it, some of the most frequently asked questions answered in regards to oral health for seniors. I do hope that this article has been of use!

Looking After Your Teeth in Old Age

good oral health in old ageThe reality is that with age the risk of experiencing a variety of oral health related issues begins to rise. You may start to experience things such as…

1. Your Teeth Slowly Become Darker in Color

Most of the time the reason why your teeth change in color is because the amount of dentin in your teeth changes. Dentin is basically a bone like form of tissue that you find underneath the tooth enamel. Another reason why your teeth may change color is because of you consuming all sorts of terrible stain causing foods and drinks over your lifetime.

With your enamel getting damaged, it will result in your dentin showing through which happens to be a dark yellow in color.

2. Your Mouth Begins To Become Dry

The main reason for having a dry mouth as you get older is because you have less saliva being produced. This may be as a result of taking medication of which the side effects include getting dry mouth.

3. Your Sense of Taste Isn’t as Sharp as it Used to Be!

Naturally as you get older you will begin to notice that your sense of taste isn’t what it used to be and this is very normal. But another reason may be because of disease, medication and the fact that you wear dentures.

4. The Roots of Your Teeth are Starting To Rot Away

The main reason for this condition is the fact that your roots have been exposed to acids which slowly but surely rot away your roots. As you age your gums begin to recede which exposes the roots of your teeth which makes it easier for the acids from your food and drink to attack your roots.

5. You’re Starting to Get Gum Disease

Gum disease is mainly caused by plaque and it is made even worse by you not cleaning your teeth properly which means that food remains stuck in your teeth. Other things that can cause gum disease include smoking, dentures that don’t fit properly, poor quality diet, and even other diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

6. You’re Losing Teeth

no-teethThe main effect of gum disease is that you will begin to lose teeth!

7. Developing an Uneven Jawbone

The main cause of an uneven jawbone is you losing teeth and then not getting these teeth replaced which results in your other teeth moving into strange positions to fill the gaps.

The truth is that age on its own shouldn’t really have an effect on your oral health. But with age a lot of people are going to experience things such as arthritis which can mean that you will find it a lot harder to do things such as brush and floss properly.

Of course taking medication can also affect your oral health which could result in you needing to get the appropriate dental treatment.

> Tips For Maintaining Good Oral Health as a Senior

Although important throughout your life it is going to be even more important as you get older and that is to make sure that you brush and floss at least twice a day every single day! This will ensure that you give your mouth the best chance to stay in great condition.

The reality is that plaque builds up a lot faster on an older persons teeth and not cleaning your teeth properly will just result in you getting problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.

To ensure that your oral health is perfect you need to implement the following things into your life…

1. Brush twice a day with quality toothpaste that contains fluoride
2. Ensure that you floss at least once per day, ideally at the end of the day
3. Visit your dentist at least once every 6 months to ensure that your teeth are in good health and that you get a good cleaning.

On top of these 3 main points I’d also highly recommend that you get yourself a good mouth rinse which studies have shown to radically reduce the amount of plaque that is on your teeth and therefore reduce the chances that you end up getting something like gum disease.

> What To Expect When You Visit the Dentist as a Senior

If you happen to be an older person going to the dentist then they should do two things. First is to conduct a proper history analysis and then they should do a dental exam.

During the history analysis the following questions will be asked…

1. When did you last visit a dentist and what was the reason for the visit
2. Have you noticed any significant changes happening in your mouth
3. Do you have any teeth that are particularly sensitive or loose?
4. Do you have any difficulties when it comes to tasting, chewing or swallowing?
5. Do you have any pain that you experience in your mouth and if so where?

Once your dental history has been checked your dentist will move onto the oral exam where they will check the following things…

- Your face and neck
- Your jaw
- Your bite
- Your salivary glands and lymph nodes
- The inside of your cheeks
- Your tongue
- Your teeth

If you happen to be wearing dentures then your dentist will also ask you how many hours a day you wear your dentures and if you ever take them out.

> Getting Financial Aid For Dental Treatment

If you happen to be an older person who is struggling financially then it may very well be possible to sign up to the many programs out there that actually mean that you will pay far less for treatment than usual.

Be sure to check with your dentist on what programs are available.

So there you have it a short and super simple guide to making sure that you look after your teeth as a senior citizen!

Getting Braces in Old Age

before after orthodontic treatmentEver heard the term, metal mouth or brace face?

For those of you that happened to have braces as a kid then you will be very familiar with these terms. But the good news is that with the advancement of technology in the area of orthodontics you are going to find that braces these days are not as obvious as they used to be. Hence you are going to find that kids will get less teased and more and more adults will be up for getting braces.

In the United States alone about 25% of the patients that get orthodontic treatment are adults… and more surprisingly than this fact is that more than half of these patients are women!

A lot of adults in the past have avoided or delayed getting orthodontic treatment because of the high cost or the fact they are embarrassed about wearing braces in public.

But the good news is that these days a lot of adult patients will be able to get orthodontic treatment for very affordable prices! The bonus is that braces these days are very comfortable and a lot less visible than in the past!

The great news is that if you just need minor adjustments made then you may very well be able to get something like Invisalign which means that you aren’t going to have to worry about how you look in public.

The only way to really and truly know what options you have available to you is by getting an appointment with your orthodontist.

The reality is that you may very well have had straight teeth when you were younger but as teeth are connected to the bone, your alignment may have changed as your body changed through age.

This can often lead to issues such as overcrowded teeth or even the spacing of your teeth.

The reality is that if you have good, strong teeth then it really doesn’t matter how old you are as you are definitely eligible to get orthodontic treatment.

There are many adults out there that have the misconception that getting orthodontic treatment as an adult is far more painful and cumbersome than in comparison with a child’s treatment. But this is far from the truth because both adults and children have to go through the exact same process.

So how long the treatment takes all depends on what changes need to be made, and how willing the patient is when it comes to following the instructions of the orthodontist rather than how old the patient is.

The reality is that because adults are more likely to follow instructions it may be easier and quicker for them to get a new set of gorgeous teeth.

It is also extremely important that you visit your dentist at least once every 6 months during your orthodontic treatment, to ensure that your teeth are in good health.

> Getting Braces in Your 30s

There was a patient of mine named Julia Braver who got braces when she turned 30 years old. A couple of years down the line when her braces were ready to come off she was super excited as any other child out there would be.

While Julia’s teeth were always straight, she did have an issue because some of her teeth were missing.

Before getting the correct tooth implants she needed to get braces to correct a small overbite which would have resulted in her damaging her implants over the long term.

She got clear braces instead of metal ones which made it less obvious that she had braces.

This helped her hugely in overcoming the feeling of being self conscious and allowed her to continue living her life to the full.

At the end of the treatment she could see the benefit of getting braces when you’re an adult because number one you’re more mature and number two most people just don’t really care.

> Getting Braces in Your 40s

Another patient of mine named Jennifer Hewlett was told as a child that she didn’t need braces even though her teeth weren’t perfectly straight and so 40 years passed and she finally decided to get treatment when her young daughter started getting treatment.

Jennifer had many friends who had gotten braces as an adult and so she wasn’t self conscious about the process at all!

Of course as with most adults out there, she was taking the time and care to actually look after her braces, teeth and gums as they should be taken care of!

Jennifer had her braces taken off about 18 months later and said she loved the feeling of knowing her teeth were perfectly straight!

> Getting Braces in Your 50s

old age bracesI have even had a patient named George Childs who was in his 50s. As a kid his teeth were perfectly straight but then his wisdom teeth came out which caused a lot of his teeth to become misaligned.

He even had a tooth which stuck out enough that he kept biting into his lip.

Finally at the ripe old age of 55 he decided to get braces.

Once they were on, he told me that it took a while to get adjusted to them but then after a short time he would barely notice them.

He was surprised that a lot of adults his age had braces and that gave him a sense of community and belonging which helped him get through the whole process.

Once his braces came off he absolutely loved the end result!

So there you have it, hopefully this article has shown you that it really doesn’t matter how old you are as getting braces is super simple and easy!