How to keep your teeth healthy as you age

16 November 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


As a person begins to reach their twilight years, they become more prone to certain types of conditions such as gum disease and dry mouth. Additionally, medications often taken by older people can also negatively affect their dental health. However, whilst maintaining good oral health does become a bit more challenging as you age, it's certainly not impossible. Here are two ways to keep your teeth looking great as you grow older.

Increase the frequency of your check-ups

Your teeth are incredibly robust and can withstand a lot of wear and tear; they are not, however, completely indestructible. Regardless of how meticulous your oral hygiene routine is, decades of exposure to starches and sugars coupled with daily chewing and crunching will eventually take its toll on your teeth by eroding the enamel and causing a build-up of plaque. The gum line also tends to recede as people get older, and their fillings may start to crumble, exposing the vulnerable roots of their teeth.

This is why it is important to visit your dentist more frequently as you age. If you go to your dentist regularly, they should be able to identify and address oral health issues before they worsen or cause additional problems. For example, if they see that you are beginning to develop periodontal disease, they may use treatments such as fluoride varnishes, gels and rinses or arrange for a gum graft, all of which can reverse this condition and prevent late-stage complications such as tooth and bone loss. 

Increasing the frequency of your check-ups is especially important if, like many older people, you wear dentures in order to make sure they still fit properly. As they age, a person may begin to lose bone mass; incorrectly fitting dentures which place too much pressure on their mouth tissues can actually speed up this process. As such, it's vital to have your dentures examined on a regular basis.

Visit a specialist dentist

A person who has a cross bite, overlapping teeth or misaligned teeth may have a greater chance of developing gum disease, simply because the positioning of their teeth makes it more likely that food will get trapped between them and cause a buildup of plaque. As mentioned above, people's risk of gum disease also increases when they age.

As such, if you happen to have unevenly-positioned teeth and are now nearing your twilight years, you could be even more susceptible to gum problems than other aging people. Given this, it may be worth investing in the services of an orthodontist, who will be able to realign your teeth using braces. Whilst many associate this dental treatment with teenagers, it is in fact used by many older people nowadays and is a highly effective way to treat crooked teeth and keep your mouth healthy and beautiful long into your later years.