Caring For Your Teeth Over 50
As we age, our teeth and gums become more susceptible to health problems and disease. For a Bupa preferred dentist like the team at Perth Dental Rooms, dental care during the later stages of life is crucially important to avoid this. Thanks to many advances in lifestyle and dentistry, most Australians will enjoy their 50’s with most of their natural teeth. As oral hygiene and a commitment to dental care are encouraged by Bupa registered dentists, more Aussies can expect their teeth to last a lifetime.
Dental Care For 50+
As we age, our teeth and gums require more care and attention.
Our teeth become brittle over time and are more susceptible to chipping or cracking. This could arise from biting into hard foods, grinding your teeth, or by taking a knock or accidental impact to the tooth. These cracks or chips could trap bacteria which would cause decay to the tooth and lead to dental health problems.
This decay can also be aggravated by the decrease in saliva production – saliva is great for washing food away and clearing the mouth while neutralising the damaging acids of bacteria, as well as rebuilding enamel. Unfortunately, many health problems or irregularities that are common in old age also require a medication that reduce saliva production, which already decreases as we age.
These oral health issues are a cause for concern, not just for Bupa providers and other dental professionals, but for health professionals too. Health conditions associated with age can also affect our oral health, such as those with type 2 diabetes. These people will experience a lower resistance to infections and become more prone to oral health problems, such as gingivitis. When left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a severe bacterial infection of the gums that can lead to bone and tissue damage and potentially costing the sufferer their natural teeth.
Tips for caring for your teeth
Drink Tap Water
Most areas in Australia add fluoride to the tap water, which helps protect our teeth. Fluoride slows the breakdown of enamel caused by acids while helping the tooth to rebuild the enamel. Bottled water doesn’t usually contain fluoride, so it doesn’t contain the same properties.
Consume Less Sugary Or Acidic Food And Beverages
Even ‘healthy’ snacks and drinks can be high in sugar or acidity. Fruit juices and muesli bars or fruit bars are high in sugars, and these can lead to tooth decay even though they are marketed to be ‘healthy’. If you are feeling snack-ish or thirsty, avoid soda drinks and sugary foods and turn to foods and drinks like water, milk, cheese, nuts, apples or carrots.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is known to contribute to tooth decay and dry mouth, and is a risk for oral cancers.
Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day
Brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste, paying attention to each surface of your teeth – a tooth brush with a smaller head will make it easier to reach. Soft bristles will ensure that your smile is clean without wearing away at the enamel on your teeth. Remember to floss daily to get in between the teeth for any trapped nasties.
Chew Sugar-free Gum
Gum will stimulate saliva production, but make sure that it’s sugar-free to keep your teeth in good health.
Regular dental check-ups are a great way to stay on top of your dental health before any serious problems can arise. Come in and see the team at Perth Dental Rooms, Perth’s leading dental clinic located conveniently in the heart of the CBD.