How Dental Care Changes As You Age

The Importance Of Continued Oral Health

As we age, keeping up with our dental health becomes more important than ever. Losing our teeth is not an inevitability. In fact, with diligent care, you can keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. That said, growing older comes with new challenges as far as oral health is concerned. It also sometimes requires a bit more vigilance than other stages of life. At Lifetime Smiles, Dr. McDonald and Dr. Mallakis specialize in treating patients of all ages, from infants to seniors, so your smile can age with grace and health. 

How Is Dental Care Different As We Age?

Over the years, the act of chewing and biting slowly wears down your enamel, eventually making your teeth more susceptible to cracking or chipping. Someone that has untreated bruxism (teeth grinding), clenching, or sleep apnea, can have severe wear that even changes their bite. As the gum line recedes, the threat of gum disease or periodontitis grows, which can result in bone and tooth loss. Additionally, the nerves in your teeth can become smaller and less sensitive over time, making it more difficult to tell on your own if you have cavities or other forms of tooth decay. However, with regular visits to Lifetime Smiles, Drs. McDonald and Mallakis can monitor the state of your dental health and keep areas of concern from becoming bigger problems down the line. 

Medications, Dry Mouth, & Cavities

Saliva naturally combats the buildup of plaque and bacteria that lead to cavities. But as people age, many begin to experience dry mouth, which puts their smile at a higher risk for tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, dry mouth is not actually a normal part of aging. However, it is a side-effect of over 500 medications, including common prescriptions for those who are over 60 years of age. Let us know what kind of medications you’re taking, and we’ll guide you on how to combat the effects of dry mouth, so you can keep your grin and bite strong for years to come.

How To Keep Your Smile Healthy

Fortunately, the most powerful asset for keeping your mouth healthy is you. By keeping up good oral hygiene habits — regular brushing and flossing, avoiding or limiting the consumption of certain foods and drinks, and regularly visiting the dentist — you can keep your teeth and gums healthy, and your smile bright. 

Check out these tips for maintaining good oral health:

  • Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are the best option.
  • Floss at least once a day with traditional floss. A water flosser is a great additional tool to add to your traditional flossing regimin. Feel free to ask Dr. McDonald or Dr. Mallakis about which flossing method might be best for you. 
  • For those who wear full or partial dentures, don’t forget to clean them and remove them for at least four hours every day. We recommend taking them out while you sleep.
  • If you’re a smoker, consider quitting. Not only does smoking put you at risk for lung, mouth, and other cancers, it increases the likelihood of gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
  • Visit Lifetime Smiles regularly, so Dr. McDonald and Dr. Mallakis can provide you with personalized care for your unique dental needs.

To maintain a healthy smile for life, see Dr. McDonald or Dr. Mallakis at Lifetime Smiles. From regular exams and cleanings to restorative and cosmetic treatments, we can offer care suited to your needs. Give us a call at (760) 747-1811 or visit our office located at 1060 E Grand Ave Escondido, CA 92025 today!

Dr. Rabee McDonald

I am a 1995 graduate of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine and completed my post-doctorate training at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center at Newark, New Jersey. I am proud to provide my patients with the best in dental technology, treatment options and patient comfort. I spend several weekends a year at the world renowned Spear Education center to keep up with best dentists in the world.