Be True to Your Teeth for Brighter Smiles and Healthy Golden Years
By Clark B. Hammock, DMD, P.A., Executive Vice President/C.B.O.
This is vital advice for baby boomers and an important reminder to maintain good oral care heading into and throughout the golden years. With many baby boomers leading active and busy lifestyles, it’s vital to continue taking care of those pearly whites to be true to your teeth, your overall health and your budget.
Have Routine Checkups
Regular dental cleanings, checkups, and X-rays allow your dentist to detect problems before they get too large to treat and restore. For many baby boomers who have larger, older silver amalgam fillings, we can detect breakdown, fracturing, and secondary decay around old fillings. Left untreated, many of these teeth break or fracture, which can require additional procedures, such as root canals or extractions.
Protect Your Overall Health
Lack of consistent dental care can lead to gum inflammation and irritation, plaque and tartar build-up. This inflammation can cause pain, soreness, and bleeding gums. Studies have even shown a correlation between the occurrences of inflammation/gum disease in the mouth with other diseases, such as cardiovascular, diabetes and oral cancer.
If you have a limited budget and need to lot of dental work at one particular time, the best way to address this is to maintain preventive care and do a little work at a time. I always tell my patients, we can be proactive or reactive. Being proactive with dental work allows the treatment to be much more predictable and will likely offer a longer term solution. When we are reactive with our dental care, we can be limited as dentists to our restorative options, sometimes limiting its lifespan. If you are given a large treatment plan, ask your dentist to phase out treatment into multiple groups. Prioritizing the urgent needs from the areas that can be monitored can help spread out the cost.
Maintain Daily Care
Daily brushing and flossing and a healthy diet are important. Make sure to clean the teeth and gums following each meal and directly before bedtime. For baby boomers who tend to have a lot of crowns, bridges, or fillings, a properly used water pick or floss threaders can come in handy to clean around those difficult to access areas. Keep an eye out for xerostomia, or dry-mouth. Many medications can cause dry-mouth, which can have a negative impact on oral health. There are many treatment options for dry-mouth. In addition, eat healthy foods and limit beverages that are high in sugar and processed foods.
If you have any questions, please call us at 704.247.9140.