As you get older, you experience many changes to your body, and your teeth are no exception to the rule. Teeth have amazing longevity — when other parts of your body fail, they remain constant, especially if they are properly cared for. But seniors need to have proper dental care in order to maintain good oral health.
If you want to protect your teeth as you get older, consider the following guidelines for optimal senior dental care.
Talk to Your Dentist About Changes to Your Physical Health
Every part of your body affects the other parts. Your dentist needs to know about any medications and health concerns because they can affect your teeth.
Dental fillings are often the treatment of choice for patients who have teeth that are decayed from cavities or other damage. When you choose to manage your cavities with fillings, your dentist will ask you what type of filling you prefer for your tooth. This short guide explains the types of materials available for dental patients today.
Dental care can be a challenge for parents of kids with special needs. Children with cerebral palsy, autism, and Down syndrome are also at a higher risk of having issues with tooth decay, dental pain, and dental misalignment.
If you’re the parent or caregiver of a child with special needs, make dental hygiene an everyday, familiar part of your child’s life. The following four tips will set you and your child on the path to good oral health.
Establish Positive Oral Hygiene Habits in Infancy
Children look to adults for validation of what’s normal and what’s not. When you establish oral care routines starting on the day your baby comes home from the hospital, your child becomes accustomed to the routine of having the mouth cleaned twice a day.
You don’t need a toothbrush to start a baby off on a lifetime of responsible dental hygiene. A clean, soft washcloth is all you need. Don’t use washcloths tumbled dry with dryer sheets or laundered with scented detergents, as the perfume-tainted cloth may make your baby gag.
If you brush and floss your teeth like you should, you might be wondering what else you can feasibly do at home to ward off the onset of periodontal disease. However, since the health of your mouth is tied to the health of your body, making a few changes can help you to avoid this serious oral disease. Here are three interesting ways to prevent periodontal disease.
Hit the Gym
When you exercise, you increase circulation throughout your entire body, rushing nutrients and protective white blood cells where they need to go. As a result, all kinds of health threats are reduced when you exercise, including gingivitis and periodontal disease.
In fact, one study showed that non-smokers had a 55% lower risk of developing periodontal disease if they exercised at least 3 times a week over the course of 10 years.
While the mechanisms of this reduced risk level are still being studied, researchers suspect that part of the benefit may stem from healthier lifestyle habits, since daily exercise is commonly considered a keystone habit that paves the way for other healthy life choices, such as visiting your dentist regularly and avoiding cigarettes.
Perhaps the most dreaded dental procedure is the removal of the wisdom teeth. Generally, teens and young adults hear horror stories about recoveries or watch funny videos of people who are recovering after surgery.
However, wisdom teeth can be misunderstood, and most of the time, the procedure itself does not have to be traumatic. If you are concerned about wisdom teeth growth and removal, learn more about common questions and concerns that patients might have about the teeth, the removal process, and the recovery.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth (so named because they grow in during adolescence or early adulthood) don’t always have to be removed. They can grow into your mouth straight and cause few, if any, long-term dental problems. However, the majority of people need some or all of these four large molars removed because:
They can crowd other teeth. Teens who have had braces can be dismayed to discover that their wisdom teeth are pushing their nicely-straightened smile out of alignment. Crowding also causes cleaning issues which increases the risk of dental decay.
They can grow crooked or even sideways. A common problem is that a person’s mouth can actually be too small for wisdom teeth to emerge properly. The teeth push into the roots of other teeth. This problem is known as impaction, and it causes pain and can damage other teeth that are otherwise healthy.
They can aggravate other conditions. Patients who have headaches, jaw problems, or migraines may find that wisdom teeth make these problems worse.
Wisdom teeth are slow growing, and problems might not appear right away. For example, cysts or open pockets can form around these teeth, causing pain in the jaw or creating places for bacteria to collect. You might have tender or swollen gums or even risk developing an abscess.
Gone are the days when oral piercings were a sign of social deviance. Oral piercings, like tongue rings, have become more popular than ever among the young and trendy. If you have thought about getting a piercing in your tongue, lip, or mouth, know that the piercing can negatively affect your dental health. Read on to find out more about piercings and how to keep your smile sparkling.
Know the Many Types of Oral Piercings
If you are considering getting an oral piercing, you have many options. Here are the some of the oral piercing options:
Web piercing: A piercing is placed on the fold of mucus membrane, called the frenum. This piercing stretches between the top lip, over the top teeth, or under the tongue.
Uvula piercing: A piercing is placed through the connective tissue at the back of the throat, called the uvula. This is an uncommon piercing location.
Lip piercing: A piercing can be placed on the top or bottom lip. Some popular places include the corners of the bottom lip and underneath the center of the bottom lip.
Dorsoventral tongue piercing: This type of tongue piercing was most common in the early 2000s. A piercing is placed from the dorsal (top) to the ventral (bottom) of the tongue. The top of the piercing can be seen when the wearer sticks their tongue out.
Dorsolateral tongue piercing: While a dorsoventral tongue piercing is inserted from top to bottom, a dorsolateral piercing is inserted from left to right, through the widest part of the tongue.
Cheek piercing: A piercing is placed through the cheeks and held in place by studs.
No matter what type of oral piercing you decide to get, it’s important to know how to properly care for your mouth and teeth afterward so you can avoid any harmful effects.
Easter is a fun time for kids, but not for their teeth. As a parent, you can protect your child’s teeth by following these easy tips and by instituting a few basic Easter-candy rules. Limiting the type of candy your child eats, giving toys instead of chocolate, and giving your child candies that are not as bad for the teeth can all help your child avoid cavities and keep their teeth healthy.
Limit Sticky Candies
Sticky candies like caramel and taffy are bad for your child’s teeth because they’re sugary and they stick to enamel easily. Limiting the type of sugary candies that you give to your child can prevent cavities and tooth decay. If you do give your child sticky caramel, toffee, gummy bears, or taffy, make your child spend extra time brushing and flossing afterward to ensure that all the candy bits have been washed away.
Give Stuffed Rabbits Instead of Chocolate Rabbits
Chocolate rabbits certainly are tasty, but they’re also not good for your child’s teeth. To avoid problems, give your child stuffed toy rabbits instead of chocolate rabbits. If your child insists on having a chocolate rabbit in their Easter basket, give your child a dark chocolate rabbit made of around 70 percent cocoa. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that are good for the teeth. The higher cocoa content, the better.
When your children are small, you make almost all of the decisions about things that affect their health, including their dental health. You decide what they’ll eat, what they’ll wear, when they’ll visit the dentist, and what procedures they need or don’t need.
But by the time your child becomes a teenager, they’re making more and more of those decisions on their own, and some of those decisions can have serious impacts on their dental health. Take a look at some tips for guiding and encouraging your teen to make smart decisions about their dental health.
Better dental technology, greater access to dental care and more information about dental hygiene have made tooth loss during your golden years less likely than it used to be. While losing your teeth as you get older may have once been almost inevitable, these days you can expect to keep your teeth for life if you care for them correctly.
However, there are dental problems that seniors need to be especially aware of. Aging affects your whole body, including your mouth, and you may be at risk of certain dental conditions now that you weren’t at risk for 20 years ago. This post lists three of the most serious dental problems that seniors experience.
Every parent wants what’s best for their baby’s health, but it’s surprisingly easy to overlook potential dental health issues. Because your baby doesn’t have teeth at first and will lose their baby teeth, you may assume that decisions you make now won’t affect your child’s overall dental health.
The truth is, you’re going to make some important decisions during this time in your child’s life that can affect their oral health, both immediately and in the future. Take a look at the answers to some important questions about baby and toddler dental health.