Appropriate dental care will not only be good for a person’s mouth, it will be beneficial to his or her entire physical body and emotional well-being. Many senior citizens have lost some or all of their teeth by the time they’re old enough to collect social security. With proper oral hygiene and preventative treatments, there’s no reason to lose your pearly whites. Here are some things to think about:
- Daily oral hygiene: Each person should brush and floss their teeth a couple of times each day. After every snack or meal is the ideal but once in the morning and once in the evening before bedtime is adequate. Even very young children should be taught these habits for their young mouths and to establish healthy patterns that will last for their entire lifetime.
- Toothbrush and paste: A high quality toothbrush is important for properly cleaning one’s tooth enamel. The bristles should be not-too-hard and not-too-soft but “just right.” Toothbrushes should be replaced every couple of months because they begin to breed bacteria. This couple of bucks for a new toothbrush is money well spent. Toothpaste can be nearly any type and only a small pea-sized dot is required. Youngsters must be taught the appropriate amount so that they don’t get sick from eating all the minty freshness that they may perceive to be candy.
- Preventative maintenance: A visit to a dentist should occur every six months to make sure everything’s going well. The dentist will check every tooth as well as all the nooks and crannies in order to look for decay, plaque and signs of trouble. He or she will also inspect the tongue, gums and inside of the mouth for any signs of oral cancer or other problematic red flags.
- Dental hygienist: A hygienist is another professional that works in a dentistry practice. He or she is not a full-fledged doc but is highly skilled in cleaning teeth and removing plaque and bacteria which may lead to decay. Cavities will occur more often without proper cleaning.
- Treatments: Some typical treatments offered in a dentistry practice include fillings, root canals, caps, crowns, extractions, installing dental implants, curing infections, whitening, brightening, straightening and more. There are general oral health care practitioners and those that focus on a specific concentration. Specialties may include orthodontia, endodontics, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry.
- Body and mind issues: Ills of the body may show up first in the mouth or may be directly attributed to dental ills. Some examples include premature birth, heart disease, diabetes complications and clogged arteries. Emotional turmoil can occur from unsightly teeth that need the attention of a cosmetic dentist or orthodontist. The smile is a very public and important component of a person’s appearance; if it’s nice looking, a person has a better chance for success and emotional peace.
Appropriate dental care will contribute greatly to a person’s quality of life. Daily oral hygiene habits, the proper toothbrush and paste, regular cleanings and checkups will go a long way in allowing a patient to keep his or her own mouth full of teeth for life.