6 Oral Hygiene Tips When You’re 60

senior woman smiling while holding her cheeks

As you get older, the more you need to pay attention to the changes to your body to continue keeping yourself health. These include your oral health.

If you don’t take care of your teeth, the chances that you will have a good smile in future is going to slim. But how do you take care of it? Here are six tips:

1. See Your Dentist More Often

In general, most experts recommend seeing the dentist at least once a year. However, when you’re older, you may want to do it twice a year or even more frequently if you already have dental problems, such as cavities and inflammatory gum disease.

During your visit, the dentist will inquire about your oral hygiene. They may also perform tests like X-rays to see any progression of a dental disease. The results will also help them advise if you need orthodontic treatment like dentures.

Moreover, the dentist will double-check whether you are using the right equipment for flossing, brushing, and rinsing your mouth.

2. Consider Getting Dental Treatments When Necessary

Usually, when teeth are beyond saving, the dentist will recommend removing them and provide alternatives to ensure that you can still chew, speak, and eat properly.

One of these options is a tooth implant. What is a tooth implant? This procedure involves the use of titanium screws that are surgically placed in the jawbone to support a false tooth or bridge.

Another treatment is a dental prosthesis. This set of dentures is removable and can be manufactured from acrylic resin, which resembles real teeth. They also have metal clasps, metal framework, and teeth with realistic colors.

3. Brush Your Teeth At Least Twice a Day

Toothbrushing is a simple step that all of us take for granted. However, it’s important to perform this practice, especially when you’re older and have more dental problems.

In general, toothbrushing is done by applying a fluoride-containing toothpaste on the entire surface of each tooth. Then, you need to scrub your teeth using a circular or back-and-forth motion until you see the toothpaste foam like a lather.

Afterward, rinse your mouth with water and clean it thoroughly especially between the gums and teeth. Brush your tongue to remove any food particles or bacteria that may cause bad breath. Finally, spit out the remaining contents of your mouth before flossing to get rid of the debris and bacteria stuck between your teeth.

4. Floss Your Teeth Regularly

It’s also necessary to floss daily before brushing your teeth to clean the areas where toothbrushes can’t reach such as between the teeth and under gums. What is more, it will remove food particles that may cause inflammation, especially if you have diabetes, which can cause gum disease.

Flossing isn’t difficult to do. You only need special floss you can wrap around your fingers, allowing you to reach between each tooth without hurting yourself too much. Simply slide the floss up and down between two teeth, moving it back and forth before pulling out the floss.

You should also floss after you eat to remove bits of food, which can cause plaque buildup between your teeth.

5. Cut Down on Sugary Foods

Eating sugary foods like cookies and candies can contribute to tooth decay or cavities. This is because the mouth is home to hundreds of bacteria that feed on starch. When you consume a lot of sugar, the number of bacteria increases, which increases the risk of dental health problems.

Reduce your sugar consumption by consuming more vegetables and lean protein to fill you up. When you’re craving for something sweet, try grabbing fruits such as berries and bananas first. Although they have sugar, they also contain vitamins and minerals.

Drink water with meals because it will help wash away food particles. Lastly, sugar-free chewing gum can help proper digestion and boost the flow of saliva. The latter helps wash away bacteria in your mouth to decontaminate your teeth.

6. Stop Smoking
Woman ripping cigarettes into pieces

Smoking increases the chance of getting periodontal gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. It also makes you more susceptible to infection from bacteria in your mouth. In addition, smokers are more likely to lose their teeth due to tooth decay or cavities.

Let’s not forget that smoking can stain teeth. It can darken the color and make them appear yellowish. So, if you want to maintain your pearly whites, you should quit smoking for good.

You should stop smoking for the sake of your dental health using a smoking cessation program. If needed, talk to your doctor about the best treatments available. You can also ask for support or motivation from friends and family you trust or participate in social networking sites like Facebook.

You deserve to keep your smile even when you’re older. To enjoy that, though, you need to learn to take care of your oral hygiene at 60.

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