Back to all posts

7 Ways to Maintain Dental Health With Age
Tyler Rock

By: Tyler Rock on December 19th, 2019

Print/Save as PDF

7 Ways to Maintain Dental Health With Age

Health & Aging

Our bodies are constantly changing every day, and it is up to us to take care of ourselves. It is important to not give up on our bodies as we age, but rather, to take extra care of them.

Maintaining your dental health is a sometimes overlooked, but extremely important component of your overall health. There isn’t just one factor that goes into maintaining dental health. If you want to work to make sure your pearly whites stay white, add these tips to your daily to-do list:

Stay Hydratedsenior-dental-health-hydration

Drinking water is good for your overall health, but you might not realize how much it helps our teeth! Water is a natural mouth-rinse, helping to wash away residue that stays on our teeth and can ultimately lead to a cavity. Sodas and juice can leave an excess amount of sugar behind that wear down our teeth and remove the enamel.

If your mouth is feeling dry, your mouth probably isn't making enough saliva. While this might not seem like something you should care about, saliva is actually your teeth’s first defense against decay. With these type of benefits, it is no wonder people are trading in sugary drinks for water.

Quit Smokingsenior-dental-health-quit-smoking

All of us have learned about the risks associated with tobacco smokingfrom lung cancer to heart disease. Smoking can stain teeth, cause bad breath, lead to gum disease, and even cause oral cancer. If you smoke on a daily basis, you might want to take this information into account. 

Common warning signs and symptoms of gum disease include red or swollen gums, sore or bleeding gums, painful chewing, loose teeth, irritation to the tooth and gums separated from your teeth. 

If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms, you should reach out to your dentist immediately to prevent further damage.

Keep Exercisingsenior-dental-health-exercise

You might have gotten to this part of the blog and be wondering, “What does exercise have to do with my teeth?” There have been studies that show that Body Mass Index (BMI) directly correlates with dental health. People who have higher BMIs are often consuming foods that are not beneficial for their health, or teeth. With that being said, people who exercised more often stopped smoking, which prevented teeth from decay and the issues listed in the section above.

Just make sure that you aren’t overdoing the sugary sports drinks, as that will cancel out the work you are putting during exercise.

Use Fluoride Mouthwashsenior-dental-health-mouthwash

Mouthwash is not only good at keeping your breath smelling fresh, but it also helps to keep your teeth healthy. Fluoride is known to strengthen your teeth, and mouthwash helps to eliminate the residue you might have missed when brushing your teeth. Some mouthwashes also help to combat gingivitis. Making sure that your gums stay healthy is equally as important as keeping your teeth healthy.

Eat Fruits & Veggiessenior-dental-health-fruit-and-veggies

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Eating crisp fruits and vegetables have been found to help remove plaque from teeth, as well as reducing bad breath.

Fruit also aids in saliva production helps to protect our teeth. The crispness of apples also stimulates the gums and helps to fight against cavities. Fruits such as pears, strawberries and tomatoes are also beneficial for your dental health!

Crunchy vegetables such as carrots and celery also help out our gums in the same way that crisp fruits do.

Eat Calcium-Rich Foods senior-dental-health-calcium-rich-foods

Calcium is great for our bones and our teeth. Teeth are connected to the jaw bone, and sufficient calcium intake helps the jaw bone keep teeth in place. Calcium is important on its own, but if you pair it with Vitamin D, calcium travels through the body more efficiently and is able to get where it needs to go to benefit you.

It is important to note that calcium can be found in products other than milk and dairy products. It can be found in dark leafy greens, such as broccoli, kale, or collard greens, as well as in fish.

Visit Your Dentistsenior-dental-health-visit-the-dentist

While this tip is at the bottom of the list, it might be the most important. Our teeth might look fine to the naked eye but having a professional take a look at them at least two times a year pays off in the long run.

According to 123Dentist, the following are some important reasons to go to the dentist:

Oral Cancer

Through regular check-ups, dentists have a better chance at catching this disease early. The check takes only a few minutes, which is so worth it in the grand scheme of things.

Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities

No matter how great we are at brushing our teeth, there will always be small portions of our teeth that we miss. Remember; going to the dentist for a cleaning is much easier than sitting through a filling.

Gum Disease

Similar to the above point, gum disease can be preventable if the right people are looking at your gums. Tartar buildup can cause infections, and the last thing you want are sore gums.

Keeping Bad Habits in Check

Sometimes we fall into bad habits that can affect us in ways that we may not initially recognize. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to help you control bad habits like smoking from swirling out of control before it is too late.

Find the Problems Under the Surface with X-Rays

X-Rays are able to show us what’s really going on inside. By having the dentist x-ray your mouth, early detection can prevent major spending down the road.

Head, Neck, and Lymph Node Checks

Dentists aren’t just trained to work with teeth. They are also taught how to feel your head, neck and lymph nodes. Searching for an abnormality is something that can go unnoticed if not looked at by a professional.

Despite your age, remain determined to share your shining smile with the world. If you are looking for more information on how to stay healthy during your senior years, download our  free eBook today!Guide To Staying Healthy During Your Senior Years

About Tyler Rock

Recently, Presbyterian Senior Living teamed up with the Communication/Journalism Department at Shippensburg University to provide students with professional writing experience. This opportunity allows students to not only learn the ins and outs of blog writing but also offers them a platform for published works. This author is a Communication/Journalism student at Shippensburg University.