This is a guide to attaining a problem-free, gorgeous smile.
For decades in a raw, Philadelphia legal professional, Conni Sota has enjoyed an impressively clean dental record highlighted with each checkup. However, things have changed and she started to experience twinging when drinking cold, followed by thinning gums. She immediately blamed some of these troubles on inconsistent flossing, which 51-year old Conni clearly admits to. Yet, age got most of the blame, and Robert Palmer, MD, came to endorse that particular aspect. “Teeth and gums are vulnerable to wear, and it’s during your 50s and 60s that problems start to show up”, says Dr. Palmer, who serves as Head of Geriatrics at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic.
Despite all of that, some very simple changes in one’s dental routine can help reduce the effects of aging on oral health. The one best thing that you can do is switch to coconut oil. It helps keep your gums healthy by pulling and killing germs in your mouth. I love to use this coconut oil for teeth whitening http://www.amazon.com/Healthy-Coconut-Oil-Pulling-Paste/dp/B017XXCXWO. It works wonderfully and it super convenient.
Listed below, some useful dental care tips, warning signs that you need to pay attention to in order to benefit from a healthy smile, and fixes to help you achieve your oral health goals:
- Use fluoride rinses. According to Kimberly Harms, DDS, consumer advisor for ADA (American Dental Association), “most of us in this age group have fillings, and that’s where we often see cracks in patients over 50. When a tooth is repaired, it’s never as strong as the original.” However, with age, not only filled teeth are vulnerable to cracks, but unfilled teeth as well. This vulnerability creates the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and that can be prevented by using fluoride rinses.
- The second important dental care tip is to become aware and understand a major entry point for bacteria, which is the gum line. With age, the gum line recedes, leaving the tooth’s root unprotected and eventually leading to tooth decay. Dr. Harms endorses that in her statement saying that “Decay here can become serious quickly because it’s close to the tooth’s nerve. If you don’t prevent or catch it early, you could need a root canal.”
Fixes and Prevention
A slight twinge may be a sign of teeth vulnerability that many people are prone to neglect. So make sure you make an appointment to see your dentist right away if you experience the slightest twinge. X-rays may show that your tooth is cracked and you need to take care of that immediately. Smoothing or filling the crack is a good solution with fine cracks, but you may need to have a full crown or cap for larger cracks.
Prevention is key to long-lasting healthy smiles. Preventative dental care includes regular brushing, fluoride rinsing, and flossing. Fluoride rinses are highly effective and when performed twice every day, fluoride rinses reduce the risk of root cavities by two thirds. Registered Dental Hygienist and past president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Margaret Lappan Green, RDH, advises against rinsing with alcohol, which can irritate older gums.
- Painful gums and sensitive teeth
- The culprit for sensitive teeth is, in most cases, periodontal disease, a bacterial infection that acts silently and which, unfortunately, is detected when the damage may already be considered extensive. Statistics say that periodontal disease, at least a mild form of it, affects more than 50% of the 55+ population.
- Periodontal disease may start with a little bleeding when using the toothbrush. This bleeding is caused by bacteria building up at the base of your teeth. Bacteria multiplies, causing the gum tissue to become loose. Then microbes start damaging the underlying ligaments and bone, which are essential to holding the teeth in place.
- Beware that bacteria in the oral cavity does not only affect your oral health but it may spread into your bloodstream and ultimately increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease, among others.
Fixes and Prevention
Daily antibacterial cleaning, professional deep cleaning, and regular, once every three months visits to the dental office will certainly stop gum disease from become a threat to your oral health.
Make sure you get a prescription for a fluoride or desensitizing agent if you experience sensitive teeth. OTC fluoride rinses are also effective.
Beware that bleaching may increase sensitivity at the time that it is performed. So check with your dentist to make sure you start using bleach at the right time.
Religious flossing can save you from real dental issues. Also, pay attention to the toothbrush you’re are using and make sure it is soft and bristles are rounded. For some, the rotation oscillation electric brush works very well. In fact, studies show these toothbrushes are more effective than manual toothbrushes in reducing plaque and gum inflammation.
- Warning Sign: Dryness
- Over the age of 50, a quarter of the female population experiences a reduction in producing enough saliva to maintain a healthy mouth. This leads to dryness and therefore bad breath and other complications. Saliva is essential for oral health. It strengthens enamel because it contains many minerals, it is acid neutralizing and it is antibacterial. The perfect potion for a healthy oral cavity!
Fixes and Prevention
- Many times the underlying cause of dry lips and tongue is related to dryness-inducing medication, such as blood pressure medicine, antidepressants, or bladder medicine. According to Tufts University, such medication is responsible for causing three times more cavities in people who use them as opposed to people who are not on a drug. You should check with your physician and get a prescription for a different medication but you should also make sure you exclude other causes of a dry mouth, including sleep apnea or Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Palmer advises the use of xylitol-sweetened gum or sugarless hard candy to stimulate the production of saliva. Another preventive measure is to make cleaning your tongue a part of your regular dental care routine. BreathRx Gentle Tongue Scraper is a tongue scraping device that may prove to be quite efficient. Colgate has a built-in tongue-scarping device for its 360 toothbrush.
- metabolism & healing
Whiter Teeth the Way You Want
You want easy: Try Listerine Whitening Quick-Dissolving Strips ($24; drugstores). No removal needed! They melt away.
You want portable: Try Britesmile to Go ($30; britesmile.com). The pen-style applicator goes with you anywhere.
You want fast: Try Crest Whitestrips Daily Multicare ($40; drugstores) to whiten teeth. They take just 5 minutes a day.
You want comfortable: Try Aquafresh White Trays ($35; drugstores). These soft, flexible trays conform to your teeth