Just 60 years ago, it was an assumption that as we age we would lose our natural teeth. But today, older adults are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before. The bad news is that recent studies reveal that senior citizens have a much higher rate of cavities than children.
The longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay. For starters, as we age, we are more prone to receding gums, which expose the roots of our teeth. These exposed roots are prime targets for cavity-forming acids. Other contributors include the prevalence of gum disease, dry mouth as a result of medications (such as Valium, Elavil, Prozac and Lasix to name just a few), consuming less fluoridated water, poor diets and difficulty brushing and flossing regularly.
Fortunately, there are now dental technologies and treatments to keep our smiles intact longer. And of course, regular dental visits are still essential, and will enable Dr. Angell and our hygienists to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including cavities, gum disease, root decay and oral cancer.
On a daily basis, here are some things you can do to promote dental health and reduce cavities:
- Follow a diet low in sugar and high in calcium
- Use fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses
- Drink water, suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugarless gum to promote saliva production
- If you have trouble brushing, try wrapping tape or an elastic bandage around your toothbrush; try an electric toothbrush
- Use a floss holder and waxed floss
If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Give our office a call at (248) 362-4330 and be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com; and “like” us on Facebook.