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30 Jul 2018

Taking care of older teeth

We have just finished reading an excellent article by Harvard university on ageing teeth and how to keep them younger. We were so impressed that we decided to create our own post on the subject…

With age, many things in our body change and unfortunately, teeth are no exception. The good news is that the days when it was almost 100% certain that you would need dentures when you reached a certain age are gone! More adults than ever are finding that if a good dental health routine is maintained, they are able to keep most of their teeth healthy and natural.

Obstacles and what you can do

Although teeth are the hardest known substance in the body, after years of wear and tear, chewing and chomping, the outer layers of enamel can become worn and with lots of food and drink containing added sugar, erosion of the enamel can come into play. We recommend cutting down on foods and drink with added sugar and making sure that you maintain a good brushing routine in the morning and before bed. Those who find that they have trouble brushing their own teeth due to a disability for example, may find an electric brush more effective as this can be moved around the mouth easily or someone else can help with this.

Did you know that periodontal disease (gum disease) is the most likely culprit for tooth loss in older adults? Receding gums and wobbly teeth play a part and can turn into more serious problems such as deterioration of the jawbone if left untreated. Gum disease is often called ‘the silent disease’ as it can go undetected and often begins with just a little plaque build up. If a person has a good dental health routine and makes regular visits to their dentist for check ups, gum disease can be kept at bay. We recommend that older people make more frequent visits to our hygienists to help keep their teeth and gums healthy and clean. A hygienist can also help tailor make a dental health routine that works best for each patient.

Years of coffee, wine and sometimes tobacco can leave the teeth stained and yellowing. As we grow older, enamel can also get thin so the yellow interior of the tooth which is called the dentin can start to show more. Many people opt for tooth whitening treatment to help brighten their smiles. If you are thinking about whitening your teeth, we would recommend talk to our dentists about the best tooth whitening option as some ingredients can cause sensitivity whilst others work without issue.

Treatments

If things have got a little past the stage of prevention, we offer a range of state of the art treatments to help restore and repair teeth to a healthier and functional state. These include implant retained dentures and custom made, flexible dentures and bridges which are created at our lab in Carlow!
We also have one of the countries top prosthodontists who can provide specialist restorative and cosmetic treatments such as composite bonding, crack and chip repairs and even full smile makeovers. For more information on these, please feel free to book in for a consultation or give us a call to talk through your options.

Final thoughts

Although we offer a wide range of treatments, prevention is always better than cure. Making sure that you have a good brushing and flossing routine at home is essential. We also recommend keeping regular appointments with your dentist so that we can make sure any issues are caught early on. Maintaining healthy and functional teeth and gums is the goal.

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