According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 96% of people consider that an attractive smile makes them more appealing to the opposite sex. A beautiful smile is also associated with career promotions, better jobs, and overall more trustworthy individuals.
However, keeping your teeth healthy is not a cheap or easy job, especially after a certain age. It requires plenty of time and patience, as well as other cosmetic procedures to maintain your teeth sparkling as a senior. So, if you plan on looking younger and more appealing, here are some oral hygiene tips you should follow.
Go to the dentist regularly
The golden rule of keeping your gums and teeth healthy is to see a specialist regularly. After a certain age, you should do a checkup every six months or at least once a year. Seniors have higher chances of getting discolorations, teeth stains, cavities, and other dental problems that should be adequately addressed.
Keep a balanced diet
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you prolong your life and look younger. And, while the latest collagen creams for wrinkles will help, they won’t perform any miracles. Therefore, it is mandatory to look after your body from the inside as well, starting with a balanced and a nutritious diet.
A poor diet based on alcohol, sweets, sodas, and carbs will easily lead to cavities, gum bleeding, and other serious dental issues later on. Not to mention other severe health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or diabetes.
The easiest way to look after your body and keep it strong and healthy is to adopt a more nutritious diet. Opt for higher amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables that are easy to digest and won’t bloat you either. Fish oils, calcium, and proteins are vital for maintaining the health of your teeth too, so make sure to integrate them in your daily diets.
As a general rule, you should avoid gluten, dairy products, and acidic fruits that can destroy the enamel and cause other health problems. Replace them with organic treats, broccoli, nuts, seeds, fish-based products, and clean sources of proteins (vegetal and animal).
Proper oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene is mandatory at any age but even more important when you are older. As we grow older, our bodies won’t be able to assimilate vitamins and minerals as they did 20 years ago, meaning you will require calcium, and vitamins D3, A, C, and E supplements.
To keep your teeth and gums healthy it is essential to brush twice a day thoroughly. Dental floss and mouthwash are also mandatory, especially if you have gaps between your teeth that could hide foods.
The same thing goes if you have implants. You should look after your teeth implants the same way you look after your natural teeth. This means brushing and flossing regularly while paying extra care to the area around your implants.
Also, keep in mind that not all implants are designed to last you a lifetime so you will still require regular checkups at the dentist to make sure everything is still in place and there aren’t any infections.
Looking after your denture
If you’ve decided to opt for denture instead of implants, you should carefully look after it. Don’t forget to use a special toothpaste for dentures that won’t affect the materials used for making it.
Consider a high-quality denture cleaner too that will reduce the risk of infections and bacteria. Depending on the type of denture, you should get it cleaned during the night to avoid any further complications.
Moreover, no matter how strong the adhesive is, it would be best to stay away from certain foods like apples, nuts, seeds, raw steaks or crunchy snacks.
Many seniors deal with a dry mouth due to certain drugs and pills they take on a regular basis. Medication for asthma, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure or cholesterol regulation could reduce the amount of saliva you produce. In time, this affection leads to tooth decay or cavities.
It is mandatory to talk to your dentist and let him or her know exactly which type of medication you take so you can be prescribed a mouthwash or an oral spray that will fight against dry mouth.
Saliva is known for fighting against plaque, bacteria, and even cavities, so you should constantly lubricate your mouth, especially after a certain age. Don’t forget to drink enough water and rest your voice once in a while.
Opt for an electric toothbrush
People who suffer from joint pains, arthritis or Parkinson’s find it challenging to perform easy daily tasks such as eating, getting dressed or even cleaning themselves.
An electric toothbrush with soft bristles is an excellent tool for seniors as it will help them thoroughly clean their teeth without putting extra pressure on their hands.
Bear in mind that after the age of 50, plaque builds up quicker, meaning you should consider brushing your teeth after each meal. If you also take snacks in-between, flossing or chewing gum will help.
It goes without saying that smoking is a bad habit for you and your health. It can lead to a series of lung complications, including cancer.
Oral cancer, receding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease are only a few of the dental complications you could develop if you continue with this nasty habit. Not to mention the lost sense of taste, a deeper voice, and bad breath.
If you cannot quit smoking on your own, there are several products on the market that could satisfy your need for nicotine, without the dangerous effects of smoking.
Nicotine gums and patches are known for helping millions of smokers to reduce their daily number of cigarettes. If everything else fails, we suggest contacting an NGO or talking to your doctor about alternatives.