By Rick Banas of assisted living provider BMA Management, Ltd.
During a recent informational program at the Cambridge House affordable assisted living community that BMA manages in Swansea, Illinois, Dentist Arthur Engelage talked about “How to Take Care of Your Teeth as You Age.”
The native of Belleville, Illinois, earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Southern Illinois University (SIU). He has practiced in his hometown for 35 years.
He cited common problems experienced by older adults:
Broken Teeth because your teeth get brittle as you age.
Cavities in the root of your teeth,
Arthritis which makes it more difficult to hold a tooth brush.
Tartar Build-Up because your teeth get rougher as you age.
Loose Fitting Dentures or Partials.
He provided the following tips:
Use a soft tooth brush.
An electric tooth brush can be beneficial, especially for people who may have difficulty holding a tooth brush.
Get your teeth polished on a regular basis as a smooth surface reduces the opportunity for plaque and tartar to build up on your teeth.
Use an alcohol-free mouthwash if you want to use a mouthwash. Not using mouthwash is better than using one that has alcohol because the alcohol can dry out your mouth. This can cause problems with your teeth and gums, interfere with digestion, cause problems with sleeping and speaking, and cause trouble swallowing.
Since salvia decreases at night, keep a glass of water by your bed.
Get your mouth in good condition while you are in good health because certain health conditions and some medications can make dental work more difficult.
If you need dentures, mini-implants are now available to help secure dentures in your mouth.
If dry-mouth is a problem, your dentist can prescribe an alcohol-free mouth rinse for dry-mouth or you may want to use the over-the-counter Biotene product for dry mouth.
For more information on Dental Care for Adults 60 Years of Age and Older, you can visit the Mouth Healthy website brought to you by the American Dental Association www.mouthhealthy.org/en/adults-over-60/
“BMA Management is the leading provider of affordable assisted living in Illinois
and one of the 20 largest providers of assisted living in the United States.”