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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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Preparing For Your First Root Canal

One of the dental procedures you may have to get is a root canal. A root canal is often done on patients who have very deep cavities that affect the root system of the tooth and will cause the tooth to rot and need to be pulled if work isn't done to salvage the enamel, tooth tissue, and nerve.

A root canal is pretty intensive and while your dentist will use numbing medications and provide excellent service to keep you comfortable during the procedure, your dental roots will be affected and you'll experience some pain and discomfort for a time after your root canal is done. Still, a root canal is essential to preserving your affected tooth and keeping your dental health in check.

Here are ways you can prepare for your first root canal. Proper preparation will make the procedure most comfortable for you and allow recovery to help you heal more quickly.

Schedule properly

Try to schedule your root canal on a day where you are going to have a few days off from work or school following the dental work. This way, you can heal at home with more time to relax after you get work done. For many people, scheduling on a Friday is best since they have weekends off. If you have a different work schedule or you have kids to care for, make arrangements that meet your needs best and enlist childcare for a short time period following your root canal work so you can heal with less interruption.

Buy soft foods

Your jaw, gums, and teeth may be sore after your root canal once the medication your dentist gives you, so be prepared with soft foods that will put less stress on your mouth when you eat while providing you nutrition. Consider yogurt, oatmeal, soup, and other soft foods to eat while you heal from your root canal procedure.

Take over the counter medication

Your dentist may allow you to take an over the counter medication prior to getting your root canal done to help put you at ease for the procedure itself. Take medication prior to your dental visit and continue to take prescribed or recommended medication after your root canal is finished as your dentist allows. Even if you feel better, you'll want to stay on top of pain and swelling. You may also want to use an ice pack to deal with any swelling; just make sure to not use an ice pack directly on skin or for too long at a time.