Six Keys to Keeping Your Teeth Longer

Most people want to keep their teeth throughout their lifetime. Your oral care and dental treatment are the beginning of keeping your teeth longer. Yet statistics regarding the dental health of people over age 65 are disturbing. According to the CDC:

  • 20% of older adults have untreated tooth decay.
  • More than 66% of older adults have gum disease.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 older adults has lost all of his or her teeth.

Here are 6 quick and easy keys to keeping your teeth longer.

  1. Brush for two minutes twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste. Avoid whitening toothpastes.senior citizens -- grandparents - pixabay cco free -3604134 1280
  2. Buy and use the right toothbrush. Manual toothbrushes do a fine job. But some believe that electric and sonic brushes are better. They are easier to use for those with arthritis of hands or wrists or other dexterity challenges. Brush gently and replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
  3. Clean between your teeth with dental floss, a water jet, or an interdental brush. Many people find the interdental brush easier to use as they age (and it works best).
  4. See your dentist at least annually. We recommend that you see us every 6 months so that we can treat any emerging problems quickly. Always tell your dentist if you have dry mouth.
  5. If your oral health is good, get bitewing x-rays annually. If you have oral health issues, you may need the x-rays twice each year.
  6. Be alert to changes or pain in your mouth. This could signal a dental emergency. If you have facial swelling, difficulty chewing or biting, or if a tooth splits vertically. Never ignore a dental emergency. Keep in mind that many other problems should be treated quickly: broken denture, broken tooth without serious pain, a persistent mouth sore.

If you care for your teeth, follow basic oral hygiene instructions, and have regular dental exams and care, you will keep your teeth longer.

If you know you have dental problems, come in and let’s evaluate the problems and create a treatment plan that will help your goal of keeping your teeth longer. If cost and payment structures are an issue, let us know. We can point you to insurance companies or introduce you to the Care Card. You may prefer to enroll in our complete dental care savings plan, which will help you save money on your dental care (http://www.carolinewallacedds.com/complete-dental-care-savings-plan.html).