Cavities Are Not Just For Kids

Thursday, October 31st, 2013, 6:52 pm

When most people think about preventing cavities – they think about kids. After all, dental decay in children is the most common childhood disease. However, there is another age group that needs to be aware of tooth decay and prevention as well – seniors.

Modern dental care today means that more and more people are keeping their natural teeth as they age. Full dentures or partial dentures used to be a normal part of aging but today I see many older patients with most of their own teeth. That is great news because natural teeth are always preferable to replacements.

These natural teeth can still suffer from tooth decay if good oral hygiene practices are not followed.

Reasons for decay in seniors

Saliva is important for the health of our teeth. It rinses away food debris and it’s chemical makeup helps re-mineralize teeth, making them stronger. Unfortunately, many medications taken by older Americans have side effects that cause dry mouth. A dry mouth makes it easier for bacteria to breed and without the saliva rinsing the teeth they are more vulnerable to attack.

Mobility issues can make it harder for some seniors to properly brush and floss. An electric toothbrush and/or a water flosser (Waterpik type device) can be very helpful. Regular checkups and dental cleanings can help keep that smile beautiful for many years to come.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next visit. We look forward to seeing you!

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Category: oral health

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