Proper oral care means ensuring you have healthy gums. Here are dental care tips for every decade of your life.
In this article:
- Oral Hygiene in Your 30s
- How to Take Care of Your Teeth in Your 40s
- How to Have Healthy Gums in Your 50s
- How to Get Healthy Gums in Your 60s
The Best Dental Tips for Healthy Gums Throughout the Ages
Oral Hygiene in Your 30s
What to Expect: If you have been following your dentist’s oral hygiene instructions, then there’s a good chance you still have some healthy gums at this age. Otherwise, you may notice a few changes in your oral health:
- Yellowish or stained teeth
- Bad breath
- Recessed gums called pockets or gaps
- More cavities (or caries)
- Teeth sensitivity
You are also in your fertile years, so you may get pregnant along the way. Pregnancy can alter hormones, which may then impact your healthy gums.
For example, you may find your gums more prone to bleeding because of oversensitivity. You may also experience a change in diet, which may worsen oral health issues.
What to Do
If you want healthy teeth and gums, you need to change your bad oral habits as soon as possible. It means flossing and cleaning your teeth at least three times a day.
Commit to seeing your dentist at least once a year, perhaps twice if you have more dental issues. One of the primary reasons is to prevent these issues from affecting healthy gums.
Regular checkups can also reveal infections which may affect not only your oral health but also the rest of your body.
Eat right. Some types of food can increase the risk of bacterial growth. A number of these bacteria may cause the deterioration of your teeth and gums.
Consider teeth whitening to remove the stain and teeth fillings to delay the progression of the cavities.
How to Take Care of Your Teeth in Your 40s
What to Expect: Remember those fillings you had when you were younger? You may find them starting to chip off or, worse, crumble.
This leaves your teeth more exposed to food particles and bacteria which will accelerate tooth decay. That’s not all.
Your mouth will start to change significantly as you hit the forties. Contrary to popular belief, your teeth will continue to move and shift throughout your life.
When you are in your 40s, you may find the upper front teeth to be shorter than the bottom part. The bottom teeth may also meet with the upper teeth.
When this happens, you are prone to a condition called bruxism or teeth grinding. It will then lead to faster wear and tear or chipping of your teeth.
Your healthy gums will also further recede, which then leaves more room for food particles to lodge.
The 40s are also the decade when you’re at a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some of the symptoms may show in your oral health.
What to Do
Increase your dentist appointments. These are the best times to watch out for any potential signs of serious health conditions including cancer.
Ask for more extensive teeth cleaning. Now that you’re older, you may need to increase its frequency to twice a year for healthy gums.
Choose your dental health products more effectively. Some of them may only increase your teeth’s sensitivity.
Refer bruxism to your dentist. Depending on the problem, you may have to wear a nightguard.
What is a nightguard? It is a dental appliance which acts as outer protection or cover for the teeth and gums.
How to Have Healthy Gums in Your 50s
What to Expect: One of the factors which can threaten healthy gums at this age is hormones. Hormones are chemicals which regulate a lot of body functions such as:
- Feelings of stress and its management
- Glucose levels and insulin sensitivity
- Thyroid function
- Metabolism and sleep
As you age, your body’s ability to produce certain hormones may decline, if not go out of whack. This makes you susceptible to some chronic diseases like hypothyroidism or diabetes.
There’s also menopause, which can affect physical and mental health. These include hot flashes, irritability, sleep deprivation, and increased risk of weight gain or obesity.
Being in your fifties also means dry mouth, which means you don’t produce as much saliva as before. Saliva plays a significant role in reducing bacteria which cause tooth decay and acids which wear out the teeth’s enamel or its covering.
What to Do
Work with your doctors. Besides food, your medications and health conditions can affect your healthy gum and oral care.
One of the dental health essentials at this point is to address the root cause. If one of your drugs is causing the problem, you may need to switch to a different brand or dosage.
Note: Don’t change anything in your treatment plan without your doctor’s orders.
Deal with your hormone changes. The protocol depends on your particular problem, but there are already many options on how to manage them.
For example, if you have a thyroid problem, the doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy. You may also bring up the idea of more natural alternatives such as Thyroid Support System.
Stop smoking and drinking alcohol as they worsen dry mouth. Instead, increase hydration and reduce acidic drinks.
How to Get Healthy Gums in Your 60s
What to Expect: There are two things to watch out for. These are bone loss and oral cancer.
Bone loss can be a sign of aging, or it may be due to a more serious condition called osteoporosis. This means your bones have become brittle and they are now prone to fractures or breaking.
Oral cancers are also more common at this age. According to the American Cancer Society, the median age for cancers affecting the mouth and the esophagus is 62.
Around this age too, you may already have joint problems such as arthritis. This may prevent you from brushing your teeth properly.
You may also be wearing partial or full dentures, and these dental health products will need proper care.
What to Do
Change your toothbrush. To promote healthy gums, you may already need to use an electric brush with soft bristles.
This brush will require less effort and, thus, less joint pain. It may also be able to reach hard areas.
Give your dentures a rest. At night, you may need to remove your dentures to reduce pressure on your gums or lining of the mouth.
Brush your dentures as well using the right toothpaste and brush. Food can still accumulate in these appliances.
See your dentist regularly. They can help spot any potential signs of cancer.
Monitor bone loss. Your doctor can perform a bone density scan, as well as recommend calcium supplements or Vitamin D3, which enhances calcium absorption.
Planning to start eating healthier for better teeth and gums? Check out this low-carb recipe!
Oral care doesn’t only mean maintaining healthy gums or set of teeth. It’s also looking out on problems which may affect your overall health later.
The sooner you correct your bad dental habits, the better your prognosis will be as you get older.
Do you have tips on how to take care of teeth when you’re older? Share them in the comments section below!