In the retirement hotbed that is Florida, many people are over 50. This seems to be a time when our bodies can start demanding more attention as issues such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis start to show themselves. Also, as women exit menopause changing hormone levels may need some attention. And that’s not to mention our eyes with presbyopia making us reach for reading glasses and cataracts starting to cloud our vision.
In other words, after 50 our bodies can need more attention.
But that’s no time to forget your oral health. After all, you don’t want to join the 25 percent of Americans over the age of 65 who have no remaining teeth. The entire team at Implant Dentistry of Florida has some advice for the aging teeth of our patients.
Don’t Forget the Fluoride
Cavity-prone years and fluoride seem to go together. But fluoride’s not just for kids — all human teeth need fluoride, whether age 9 or 90. Remember, fluoride is important for the remineralization of our teeth. This is the process where the teeth regain the minerals they need after they demineralize. Fluoride helps this process, which is important to ward off tooth decay. Older people actually have an increased risk for cavities versus those in middle age. This is especially true around old silver amalgam fillings that have been in place for some time.
And don’t listen to the fluoride poisoning conspiracy nut jobs. Fluoride isn’t a plot to poison or brainwash you; it’s a plot to strengthen the enamel in your teeth, and that’s a good thing. If you have a couple cavities of late, we can even help strengthen your enamel with one of those tasty fluoride treatments you may remember from your youth.
Old age and dry mouth aren’t necessarily linked, but some facets of aging can increase your risk for dry mouth. Taking regular medications or certain chronic conditions can increase your risk for dry mouth. And with dry mouth comes an increased risk for cavities and decay issues. If you wear dentures, dry mouth can affect the quality of their fit.
So, what can you do? Use a “moisturizing” mouthwash or dry mouth spray. Chew sugar-free gum, as it encourages saliva production. You can use an “artificial saliva” product; these products have ingredients that closely mimic your real saliva.
Mind Your Dentures
If you have dentures, take care of them as diligently as you would natural teeth. Clean them with denture-specific toothpaste (regular toothpaste is too abrasive), and be sure you clean them every day. And don’t forget to use a soft toothbrush on your gums and tongue to remove any bacteria and food particles.
Schedule a Consultation
Lastly, don’t overlook your twice-yearly professional cleanings and exams with us here at Implant Dentistry of Florida. These are the easiest way to ensure healthy teeth and gums heading into your golden years. Call us to make your next appointment, (321)-372-7700.