As the general public gets older, it’s also time we got a little wiser. Wiser about our dental health of course. It’s time to take a look at the old myths about the aging process on our teeth and see if there really is some “food for thought”.
Myth #1 “I’m nearly sixty years old, I can’t possibly get any more cavities.”
FALSE! Anyone can get cavities as long as they have even one tooth in their mouth! Proper oral hygiene and regular check-ups are as vital at ninety-nine as it was at age one.
Myth #2 “Loose teeth are just a regular part of growing old.”
FALSE! The loosening of teeth is part of gum disease, a slow low-grade constant infection in the gums that destroy the underlying bone. Bone is the foundation for the teeth, and the more bone there is surrounding teeth, the stronger and less mobile the teeth are. Although aging does account for small amounts of bone loss over the years, gum disease occurs when plaque and tartar are not cleaned from the teeth and gums. Again, only proper oral hygiene and regular check-ups will keep gum disease in check.
Myth #3 “I wear dentures so I don’t need to see a dentist.”
FALSE! Dentists are trained at looking at the mouth and the surrounding tissues not just teeth! Ill-fitting dentures can cause constant sores in the mouth, improper chewing/digestion, not to mention embarrassment! A dentist can check for any signs of oral pathology, adjust or reline existing dentures, and/or if needed make new dentures or suggestions on how to close spaces caused by missing teeth.
Myth #4 “I’m too old to care about the appearance of my teeth. Probably nothing can be done anyway.”
FALSE! Older adults are living much more vital and exciting lives than ever before! So why should you settle for a less-than-happy smile line? Most dental options are available to the elderly including implants, bridgework, cosmetic dentistry, and even braces. Just ask your dentist about these various options and bring back your youthful smile.
Myths about our oral health are misleading as well as potentially harmful. Proper dental home care as well as a professional recall program, will help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Remember to never retire your smile.