Looking After Your Teeth In Later Life
Taking care of your teeth as you age is just as important as in your youth.
We all hope to grow old one day, however far away that may seem at the moment. Younger people especially, may find it hard to imagine what it is like to be old, but it’s an inevitable route for most of us.
There is no getting away from the fact that there certainly are some disadvantages of reaching our later years, though many also find happiness comes easier in later life, once the stress of work and families etc has disappeared into the background a little more.
One of the most important factors regarding how much you enjoy your later years is how healthy you are. The better your health, the more likely you are to participate in events and meet up with friends etc. To most people, that is common sense. Perhaps too few though, tend to think about how the condition of their teeth might also affect them later on.
Eating and speaking
Having a healthy set of teeth in later life can make a big difference to the quality of our lives. It can mean the difference between tucking into your favourite food, or having to select only softer foods because your teeth can’t handle harder varieties. It can mean the difference between feeling confident that your teeth look OK and avoiding people because of your discoloured teeth. Many older people also wear dentures which may move around in the mouth, causing embarrassment and also sometimes affecting speech.
There are a number of cosmetic dental treatments now available at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom that can help to rectify these problems and we will take a look at these a little later on.
The problems associated with older teeth
Unsurprisingly, older teeth are unlikely to look as good as your younger teeth. Years of wear and tear are likely to result in some small chips and cracks appearing. Some discolouration is also likely. Probably most of us will also lose a tooth or two, whether through decay or accidents.
Tooth loss through accidents is not always avoidable, but tooth loss through decay and also gum disease usually is. Here are some common sense tips that will help you to keep your teeth healthy for as long as possible.
Brush your teeth – Daily brushing, twice a day, both morning and last thing at night, is essential for good basic oral health. Without this, you will almost certainly suffer from a number of dental problems. Use a newish brush (no more than 3 months old), a good quality toothpaste that contains fluoride and brush for at least 2 minutes each time. This will help to keep the protective enamel in good condition and help to prevent decay.
Use dental floss – Yes, it can be a little tricky at first, but you will soon get used to it and find it easy to use. If you don’t use floss, bacteria and pieces of food will get trapped between your teeth, often for a long period of time. This will damage the enamel, leading to decay, and is also likely to lead to gum disease too.
Drink water – Water not only helps to flush away bacteria and food from between our teeth, but also helps us to avoid having a dry mouth. This is important as this greatly raises the chances of periodontal problems. Older people tend to suffer from a dry mouth more anyway, so making sure that you drink enough water is very beneficial for your oral health. You will probably feel generally better for it too.
See your dentist – Just because your teeth may not look as nice as they once did, doesn’t mean that you don’t need to keep your dentist’s appointments. Seeing one of our Epsom dental team on a regular basis can make all the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy mouth.
If you have looked after your teeth reasonably well, but are still not happy with their appearance, you may wish to consult with one of the cosmetic dentists at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic to see how they can help to improve the appearance. There are many treatments that can be used for this, some of which we briefly explain below.
Dental implants – A more secure and stable tooth replacement option than dentures. Unlike other methods, dental implants also replace the root of the tooth, giving them unequalled strength.
Teeth whitening – You are never too old to have whiter teeth and we can adjust the whiteness to your own requirements. If you don’t want to leave the house with dull teeth and return with dazzlingly white ones, we can customise the treatment to give you a more natural looking improvement.
Dental veneers – If your teeth are heavily discoloured, the improvement seen following a teeth whitening procedure may not be as good as you had expected. For patients in this situation, we may suggest porcelain dental veneers that are used to replace the affected front surface of your teeth.
Older age shouldn’t be a barrier to a healthy mouth or an attractive smile. To find out how we can help you, please contact the Clock Tower Dental Clinic on 01372 720136.