Healthy teeth are just as important as we age as when we are young. Healthy teeth are also a great way to look as youthful as you feel. Some aspects of aging can make you more vulnerable to certain dental problems – particularly gum disease and yellowing teeth – but proper hygiene and oral healthcare are effective in preventing these problems.
As you age, the inner layer of your teeth, called "dentin," tends to thicken, causing your teeth to look yellow. You also may produce less saliva as you grow older, depending on certain health conditions and medications you take. Salivary flow is an important way to flush your mouth of debris that causes plaque.
If plaque builds up and infects your teeth and gums, your gums may recede. Infection can progress to gum disease, which is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Most older people with missing teeth did not lose their teeth simply because they grew older, but because their gums receded due to poor oral health habits.
At any age, a proper oral hygiene routine is critical to maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. This routine should include:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Regular cleanings and exams at the dentist's office
Flossing is especially important to preventing tooth decay and gum disease. If you only brush your teeth, you are really only cleaning about half of your tooth surfaces. A significant amount of debris hides in between your teeth.
For dentistry care at any age, please contact experienced Glendale, Arizona dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox to schedule a consultation at Desert Smiles Cosmetic & Sedation Dentistry.