Posts for: May, 2017
In your "Golden Years," you have now become a pioneer in tooth care! Your present generation is probably the first one in history that can expect to keep most of their natural teeth for a lifetime. The reasons range from beter oral health care, advances in dentistry, improved nutrition, to a lower risk for diseases that could weaken teeth and gums.
As a pioneer, it is now understood that teeth are a body part that changes with age, just like the rest of the body. Even if your teeth can remain strong and white, here are a few things that you may have to cope with:
CAVITIES: Tooth decay is not just for kids anymore. Seniors often develop cavities on the lower part of the tooth near the root. Thorough flossing and brushing along the gum line is the best preventive measure.
SENSITIVITY: Gums recede over time, and good dental habits only slow the process. Receding gums leave more of the tooth exposed, and newly uncovered areas of the tooth have less enamel. As a result, these teeth may be much more sensitive to hot and cold.
DIFFICULTY BRUSHING: If you have arthritis or limited motion, you may have a harder time brushing your teeth. An Electric Toothbrush like an Oral B, can help.
OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS: Diabetes, heart diesease, and other chronic illnesses can cause symptoms in your mouth. Knowing about the dental aspects of each of these conditions are an important role in their management. Our office can help treat many of the symptoms that affect your teeth and we can recommend ways to maintain good oral health habits as part of your overall health program.
While mouth wash goes a long way in improving your oral care, it is not a substitute for flossing. Mouthwashes and flossing both provide different dental benefits that you should understand.
Mouthwash comes in two categories. Some are considered cosmetic. This type of rinse provides temporary relief from bad breath and has a pleasant taste. These do not actually kill any bacteria.
Therapeutic mouthwashes provide the healthier benefits. These may contain different ingredients including fluoride or antimicrobial agents. This type is used to remove plaque build up and reduce the potential for tartar formation. Therapeutic rinses can also help prevent cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis.
Flossing is what removes the plaque formation before it can harden and become tartar. While a rinse reduces buildup, only flossing will fully remove plaque, especially between teeth. The bristles on a toothbrush do not get between teeth completely. If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar. When this builds below the gum line, gum disease can start.
TYPES OF FLOSS
Floss is available in a thin string form or a tape. It can be waxed or unwaxed. If you find flossing difficult, you might want to try a different type of floss. You can buy bulk floss in containers or purchase the disposable type with a plastic handle attached. This style can be easier for many individuals to use. Interdental picks are available for bridgework or other situations where regular floss cannot be used.