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Oral Health and Aging

Advances in medical technology and better access to health insurance are just a few of the things helping people in the U.S. today live longer and in better health than ever before. Life expectancy from birth is currently at an all-time high of nearly 78 years. Improvements in oral health have also been substantial, and adults 65 and older are keeping more of their natural teeth for their entire lives than previous generations. Practicing good oral health is more important now than ever, as there are so many options available to keep your teeth healthy and strong, even in your later years.

Smart dental hygiene is still important, even for those seniors who have lost their natural teeth. Besides helping to ensure that dentures and other prosthetic replacements fit properly, dentists can catch life-threatening diseases like oral cancer early when they are at a more treatable stage, so it’s still important to visit our office every 3-6 months for cleanings and check-ups. Gums are notorious for wearing away during the aging process, leaving the root of the tooth exposed. The tooth root is much more vulnerable and prone to dental decay than the enamel that covers the tooth. Older adults who take any one of several hundred medications that can cause dry mouth (a decrease in saliva) should be especially careful because a lack of saliva brings a much higher risk for tooth decay.

Once individuals retire they often neglect to purchase ongoing dental coverage. Medicare does not provide dental coverage but individual plans are available for purchase. Seniors can also check to see if membership in any national organizations or associations qualifies them to purchase dental benefits.

Although, we are a pediatric dental office in Firestone, we hope there is valuable information here for parents. For further information on dental care, stop by anytime.

Posted on Jul 13, 2015

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