How Aging Effects Oral Health

At different ages, we all need specific healthcare. Senior patients have a different set of needs than kids or younger adults. Many patients don’t know that they need to change the way they take care of their smiles as they age, but a good dentist should partner with you to maintain good in-office and at-home dental care routines to ensure you keep a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime. In this post, we’ll discuss the effects of aging on your oral health and how you and your dentist can work together to improve the lifetime health of your smile during dental checkups and by optimizing at-home oral hygiene routines.

Common Oral Health Issues for Seniors

There are many ways that oral health changes as we age. Some of the most common oral health issues seniors struggle with include:

  • Dry mouth – taking more prescription medications coupled with reduced saliva production as we age can lead to dry mouth. This oral health issue may seem like nothing more than a nuisance, but actually, it can lead to numerous serious concerns, including tooth decay, gum disease, and excessive dental wear.
  • Increased risk for gum disease – dry mouth and decreased immune function can both increase patients’ risk to suffer from periodontal (gum) disease due to the greater levels of plaque production and diminished ability to neutralize plaque acidity.
  • Tooth loss – older patients are more likely to lose teeth as years of dental wear and damage take their toll.

Gum Disease & Aging

As we age, we’re at greater risk for systemic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. What many patients don’t know is that gum disease increases your risk for and the severity of your illness. Gum disease has been connected to numerous whole body health issues, and unless your

Permanent or Removable Retainers: Which is Right for You?

When the time to remove your braces finally arrives, it is very exciting. Unfortunately, it can be somewhat confusing, too, because you are faced with choosing between two kinds of retainers. Should you go with permanent, removable, or a combination of the two? It is always wise to follow your dentist’s recommendations, but knowing more about the two types of retainer beforehand can be helpful.

Permanent Retainers

Permanent retainers are the clear choice for patients who want to “get it and forget it.” Once your permanent retainer is placed in your mouth, you won’t need to worry about daily retainer schedules, since it is permanently affixed to your teeth.

Because teeth begin to shift naturally as we age, a permanent retainer typically offers better long-term results for teeth straightening than a removable one. You can’t forget to put it in — it’s already there! Temporary retainers get lost or are forgotten on trips, and often fail to get used as often as they should be.

One drawback to permanent retainers is flossing. Some patients find it more difficult to floss with a permanent retainer, but we can show you effective ways to floss fairly quickly with your permanent retainer.

Removable Retainers

Removable retainers offer the advantage of easy use: you will generally put a removable retainer in at night and take it out in the morning. Regardless of your retainer schedule, you’ll be able to enjoy some time with no retainer. However, a removable retainer can easily be forgotten at times, and this means you won’t be taking full advantage of teeth retention.

Another potential advantage of a removable retainer is that you can take it out and brush and floss your teeth with ease, which is more of a challenge with a permanent retainer. Although removable retainers can be