Caring for Your Teeth as You Age

On March 10, 2016 / By Zöe Dental

Caring for Your Teeth as You Age

It’s not true that losing your teeth when you get old is inevitable. Good Asheville dental care is one way to ensure that you keep your original choppers intact for life. What is true, however, is that your mouth changes as you age. That is inevitable. Just as every part of your body experiences change over time, you can expect your mouth to change too, sometimes in odd ways. For example:

  • The enamel gets thinner.
  • The nerves in your teeth shorten.
  • Your teeth aren’t as sensitive to the formation of cavities.
  • Teeth wear down after a lifetime of chewing, grinding and cleaning.
  • Your gums recede.
  • Teeth usually darken with age as the dentin underneath thickens
  • Your jawbone shrinks.

In addition to these natural changes, other factors affect aging teeth, such as:

  • Flossing and brushing may become more difficult due to arthritis or other physical changes.
  • Certain medications can lead to a dry mouth.
  • Other drugs can lead to changes in your taste buds that may cause you to avoid certain foods and become nutritionally deficient.

Asheville Dental Care Routines

Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent further damage and unnecessary complications due to aging. You’re never too old or too young to get and stay on a regular Asheville dental routine that includes checkups, cleanings and X-rays. It’s a built-in benefit of seeing a dentist twice a year.

In addition to removing plaque build-up and stopping the progression of cavities as soon as they appear, your dentist and hygienist can catch other changes that could lead to problems down the line. Sometimes, a simple suggestion like changing the type of toothbrush you use can make a huge difference in your Asheville dental prognosis. And a thorough exam can reveal the early stages of cancer or other life-threatening conditions that may start in your mouth.

Tips for Healthy Dental Aging

You play the biggest role in keeping your original teeth for life. To ensure they remain in good condition, add the following tips to your Asheville dental routine. You’ll be surprised how good you feel when you look in the mirror and see your own teeth sparkling back at you.

  • Switch to an electric toothbrush with soft bristles. It’s easier to hold and ensures you brush for the whole two minutes that are recommended.
  • Skip the bottled water and drink plenty of tap water throughout the day. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll also treat your teeth to regular doses of fluoride that keep your teeth healthy and strong.
  • Remove your dentures and partials at night or at least for four hours in a 24-hour period. Clean them as thoroughly as you clean your permanent teeth to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
  • Stop smoking if you still hang on to that habit. It only leads to gum disease, in addition to all the other proven diseases it causes.
  • Floss every day to remove food from between your teeth. Use a water flosser if flossing becomes too difficult.

—The Zöe Dental Team