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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Dental implants can give people a new lease on life following tooth loss. Properly caring for your dental implants can ensure that they continue to serve you for as long as possible. Here are some ways that people who have undergone dental implant surgery can keep their new implants clean and healthy.

1. Choose a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Brushing your teeth is the simplest way to remove plaque and prevent cavities and gingivitis. The visible prosthetic portion of your dental implant can be brushed just like your other teeth. It's best to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush for the job since soft bristles can prevent unnecessary wear to your dental prosthetic. As an added bonus, soft bristles may be healthier for the rest of your teeth as well, since they can help you avoid enamel erosion and gum damage.

2. Use a Gentle Flossing Technique

Flossing is an important way to prevent cavities from forming between your teeth. Flossing can also prevent gum disease by removing bacteria from the spaces that your toothbrush can't reach. After getting dental implants, you can floss around your dental prosthetic. However, it's important to be gentle when flossing in this area. That's because dental implants lack the nerve endings found in natural teeth, and flossing too deeply can introduce bacteria into the space around your implants. Use waxed floss that can easily glide in and out of the spaces between your teeth, and be mindful of how hard you push during the flossing process.

3. Choose an Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Mouthwash is an optional step in your dental care routine, but many people enjoy the fresh feeling it gives their mouths. You can continue using mouthwash after your dental implant surgery. However, you may want to switch to a variety that does not contain alcohol. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is not necessary to kill bacteria found in your mouth. In fact, mouthwash containing alcohol can promote irritation, which may make infections more likely. People with dental implants should try their best to avoid anything that could irritate their new dental appliance. Gentle mouthwashes can remove food particles from between the teeth without harming the soft tissue of the mouth.

4. Keep Seeing Your Dentist Regularly

The most important thing you can do to extend the life of your dental implant is to continue seeing your dentist regularly. In addition to providing oral exams and regular cleanings, your dentist can also monitor the overall state of your dental implant. This can help you avoid infections and the complications that can result from rejected dental implants.

For more information about dental implants, reach out to a local clinic.