When you think about tooth decay and fillings, you usually associate it with a problem that is specific to children; however, older adults are also prone to tooth decay because of the changes that aging causes. It's common to notice changes in your mouth when you get older, and here are some important things you should know about aging and your oral health.
There's a Connection With Oral Health and Your Overall Health
Periodontal disease is common among older people, and it's important to note the link between your periodontal health and other concerns in your body such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. We now understand that the bacteria that causes periodontal disease can also contribute to those other issues, and this is why regular visits with your dentist at least every six months are so important. You will be screened for gum disease at every dental checkup, which gives you the opportunity to treat it with less invasive treatment procedures.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
We know this is important for your overall health, but did you know that eating fruits and veggies also benefits your oral health? This is because they actually neutralize the acids that cause tooth decay, and they increase saliva flow, which helps to wash away food debris and ward off dry mouth. Pay close attention to your nutrition, and be sure you're eating a diet filled with fresh produce.
Use the Right Tools
It's a good idea to invest in an electric toothbrush if you haven't already. This brush does the hard work of brushing for you, and also times you to make sure that you're brushing for at least two minutes each time.
You can also discuss adding a fluoride rinse to your home care routine with your dentist. This gives you added protection against tooth decay and cavities, while also freshening your breath. However, a mouth rinse should never take the place of brushing your teeth.
Dr. Kelly Clarke, your Bradenton, FL dentist, is here to help you navigate the changes that aging brings to your oral health. Call us today if you have questions or need to schedule your next appointment.