As we age, something that unfortunately can be impacted is our oral health. From increasing your risk of periodontal disease to being more prone to tooth loss, there are a few things you need to do differently in order to protect your teeth and keep your mouth and gums healthy. Whether you’re looking for yourself or wanting to help a loved one in assisted living or a care home, prioritising your own health or that of a loved one is key. These are all simple things you can do to make your health a priority, so add them to your routine this week! 

Regular Checkups

The first thing you should do to look after your oral health as you age is to have regular dental checkups. Unless told otherwise, you should visit your dentist at least every 6 months. Your dentist in Leamington Spa, London or Leicester will be able to conduct full oral health examinations and identify any issues. Sometimes you won’t have any symptoms at all in the initial stages of an oral health problem and then when it develops, it becomes more complex to treat. So, when you see your dentist regularly, it enables the dentist to pick up on any problems earlier and to help you resolve them. It’s also important that you visit your hygienist at the same time as your dental checkups, as if plaque isn’t removed from the teeth, it can further contribute to gum disease and tooth loss. If you haven’t been to the dentist in the last 6 months, make sure that you book an appointment! 

Replace Missing Teeth

Another benefit of seeing your dentist is that they will be able to help you with solutions for tooth loss. As we get older, unfortunately, many of us lose teeth. If we don’t replace the teeth we lose, it can result in our teeth shifting and affecting the way that our arches are aligned. This can then cause issues with how we eat and speak, as well as lead to further oral health issues. You may require dental implants or something like dentures, and with regular visits to the dentist, you can get the right solutions in place to help you maintain a happy and healthy smile. 

Brush and Floss

You also need to make sure you get your brushing and flossing routine in order. Unless your dentist has given alternative advice, you should brush with an electric toothbrush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, as well as floss once a day. Fluoride is an important ingredient to protect our enamel and keep our teeth strong, so make sure to check the ingredients on your product to make sure it contains it. If you struggle to floss, then you can also get very thin interdental sticks, which can be easier to use. 

 

Brushing and flossing properly is so important to help you remove any build-up of food from the day and also to remove plaque. When plaque isn’t cleaned away and hardens, it becomes tartar, which can cause gum disease and tooth loss, so getting rid of this at the end of each day is key. A good tip is also to make sure you’re not brushing for 30 minutes before or after you eat, to make sure your teeth aren’t sensitive when you’re eating. Make sure to ask your dentist if there is anything specific you should be doing, as they can spot any areas where plaque buildup is worse so you can identify areas to brush better! 

Diet and Water

It’s also important that you’re eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. Eating a variety of different fruits and vegetables, as well as lean protein sources, fibre and dairy, will help you provide your oral health with the nutrients it needs to be as healthy as possible. Eating different textured foods can also help keep your jaw strong. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is not only important for our overall health, but when you have a glass after you’ve eaten anything or when you’ve had a drink that’s sugary, it can help to wash away some of the residues before you get a chance to brush your teeth properly. This shouldn’t replace brushing, but it can help protect your oral health throughout the day!