Medical advances, scientific research, and improvements in nutrition have combined with public safety awareness campaigns and better education to help people live longer than ever before. Since you have a better chance of getting into your senior years as well as having a reasonable expectation of more of them if you’re already there. With your hopefully golden years, though, comes responsibilities. One of them is continuing your proper oral care, which is more essential than at any point before in your life.
There are some oral health issues common to seniors. Individuals of other ages can fall prey to these issues, but seniors are increasingly susceptible. These include cavities, dry mouth, xerostomia, coronal and root caries, and periodontal or gum disease. Other possible issues include denture stomatitis, tooth loss, tooth decay, gum pockets, plaque problems, and cancer of the tongue, throat, or mouth. Finding a good dentist for a simple root canal could be challenging.
Fortunately, there are many ways to maintain your oral health in the senior years of your life, and they are simple enough to easily incorporate into your daily lifestyle. It’s best to brush twice a day, which you hopefully have already been doing all your life. If not, it’s not too late to start now. Also floss daily. Mouthwash is also useful, but only if you can do it without swallowing. Also, if you have any dental devices like implants or dentures, you might have to take additional care of them.
Talking to your dentist is always a good idea as you get into your senior years, and if you don’t have a dentist already, you should line one up soon. Noticing any changes in your oral health whatsoever, is something you need to bring to your dentist’s attention, whether it’s the most minor of pain or a loose tooth.
Your dentist should be someone you can afford, obviously, and preferably in a convenient location. However, one critical aspect of a dentist you trust your health with is the ability to feel comfortable telling him or her about anything you think might be wrong and asking questions. You might have to let them know what medications you’re on at the time. For instance, many medications that are prescribed to seniors have dry mouth as one of their side effects, and that can be highly damaging to the oral health of a person.
Roughly one in three senior citizens suffers dry mouth, specifically from medications. These medications are both prescriptions and over the counter. They are used to treat high blood pressure, Parkinson’s diseases, and urinary incontinence, while others are muscle relaxants and antidepressants.
You should talk to your dentist about how to handle side effects of your medications, as well as finding the right brush to use on permanent teeth, implants, and dentures. Bring your current dental tools with you to get approval or upgrade recommendations.
Anyone that has children knows that sooner or later, there’s a good chance there are going to have to get braces of some kind or another. As kids are growing up there is little that you can do until they reach a certain age. This is because their baby teeth need to fall out and be replaced with their adult teeth before any meaningful work can be done. However, it doesn’t hurt to take them to an Orthodontist for a consultation a little sooner just so you know what you’re in for and when to make a real appointment.
There are plenty of opinions on when to start taking your child to the Orthodontist and some of them involve money while others involve pride. In the first place, a lot of young parents don’t have a lot of extra money in order to afford braces. They are barely squeaking by as it is and braces can be very expensive. However, there are some things that can be done early, like pulling overlapped teeth out, that can make the teeth look better until you can afford braces. Plus, some teeth can naturally straighten themselves out once there is more space after the extraction.
Another reason some people don’t get braces is that they are worried about their appearance and the embarrassment involved. What they’ll find out is that during childhood there are dozens of their friends that also are getting braces and they’ll soon fit right in with the crowd. On the other hand, if you wait until the late teens or even adulthood, you might be the only person with braces and you’ll be wishing you’d taken care of it when you were much younger.
Either way that you decide to have the problem corrected, it’s still important to make sure that you brush your teeth with care and use dental floss daily when you have crooked or overlapped teeth. The reason is that food particles can get trapped easier and for longer periods of time leading to tooth decay and gum disease. While having braces also poses a problem with keeping teeth clean, at least they will eventually be removed so the better you brush them the better they’ll look in the future.
As technology advances there newer materials being used in many medical and dental procedures. Braces are now being made from new materials that are clear, white, only worn at night, or other similar circumstances. Most children will still need the standard braces that involve wire brackets and rubber bands like in the past and those are many times the least expensive as well. Those types of braces are meant to pull the teeth into alignment bit by bit until they are all lined up correctly. Then, they still have to be left in place until the teeth are firmly rooted in place.
While there are some braces that can be used that are clear or made from white ceramic, those aren’t available for all types of alignment problems. The same goes for the removable night-time only braces, they are only good for some people and not others. You can ask the Orthodontist to explain your options when you have your consultation. Some situations also will require head gear but those are almost always only worn at night so no one you know will ever see them.
Most kids will need braces for about 2 years or so, depending on how far the teeth need to be pulled into the spaces they need to fill. During that time extra care needs to be taken to make sure food particles don’t get caught under the wires and brackets. If left there to rot not only will the child have bad breath but their teeth could become decayed defeating the purpose of straightening them if they’re only going to be rotten anyway.
The study of Orthodontia has been a well respected field for many years and the doctors that enter the profession are typically well liked. Many of them stay in the same general area serving multiple generations of the same families for decades.