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Taking care of your teeth when you’re over 55

As the dentists in Maroubra will tell you – it doesn’t matter how old you are, you must always take care of your teeth. Keeping your teeth healthy is suitable for your nutrition, after all being able to talk to friends, enjoy your food and smile is a lot easier when you have healthy teeth and a healthy mouth.

Teeth are designed to last a lifetime, and by taking good care of your teeth and gums you can protect your teeth for years to come. The dentist in Maroubra wants to remind you that tooth decay is not just a problem for children.

Tooth decay attacks the enamel on your teeth, and, if you don’t care for your teeth properly it sticks to your teeth as plaque which can lead to cavities and tooth decay. We should not forget that fluoride is just as important for adults as it is for children.

Gum disease, or gingival disease – as it is also known as an infection that harms the gum and bone that holds your teeth in place. If plaque stays on your teeth for too long, it produces tartar which is a hard covering that a toothbrush just can’t remove. The longer this remains on your teeth the more damage is caused, your gums may bleed easily or become red and swollen – this is called gingivitis. If this isn’t treated in time, your gums can pull away from your teeth forming pockets that can become infected, if not treated it can ruin gums, tissues, and bones that support your teeth causing them to become loose.

To prevent gum disease:

  • Use a fluoride toothbrush and brush twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Have regular check-ups with your dentist in Maroubra
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Don’t smoke

If flossing and brushing make your gums bleed or hurt, see your dentist. Some people who suffer from arthritis or have limited motion may find it hard to hold a toothbrush, try making the handle bigger by pushing it into a Styrofoam ball, lengthen the handle by attaching it to a plastic or wooden handle, or an electric toothbrush may be more helpful.

For some dentures can be challenging to get used to and when learning to eat with them it may be easier if you:

  • Cut food into small pieces
  • Start with non-sticky foods
  • Chew gently using both sides of your mouth

Dentures can reduce sensitivity in your mouth making it harder for you to notice objects such as bones, so be careful. Over time our mouths change, and dentures may need to be adjusted or replaced.

Dental implants are tiny metal pieces that are placed into your jaw to hold false teeth or partial dentures in place. Your jawbone and gums must be healthy to support implants and they are not a procedure for *everyone*.  Speak to your local dentist to see if this option is the right choice for you.

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