Categorized | Healthy Lifestyle

Oral care important for the older population

By Dr. Steven Rinaldi

Older Americans make up a growing percentage of the population. As we continue to live longer, the need for proper oral care is vital to maintain natural teeth and enhance the quality of life. Some people think that it is inevitable to lose your teeth as you age, but this is not necessarily true, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. We can all keep our teeth longer by maintaining good oral health. In fact, a lifetime of good dental care, which, includes brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups – can help you keep your teeth well into retirement.

When you get older, however, your dental care needs may change. For instance, 25 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have severe gum disease. Uncontrolled gum disease has been associated with increased risk of heart disease and strokes. People with diabetes are more prone to infections and need to be especially aware of the possibility of having gum disease. Gum disease is a “silent” disease that often goes unrecognized until advanced symptoms like looseness of the teeth occur. Older adults with poor oral hygiene may suffer from gum disease without being aware of it. What can you do to maintain good oral health and help prevent gum disease?

•Drink water and use toothpastes and rinses that have fluoride in them.

•Brush at least twice a day and floss daily.

•Get an electric toothbrush and flosser or use handles or other adaptations to make brushing and flossing easier.

•See a dentist regularly.

•Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco products.

•Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

•Check for side effects of medicines and report them to your doctor/dentist.

•Make sure to get dental care before having surgery or treatment that may cause problems with your oral health.

•Caregivers should learn how to take care of the teeth of those who are not able to take care of their own teeth.

•Any changes in dental health and overall health should be reported to both your dentist and primary care doctor.

Millions of Americans have lost all their teeth and wear dentures. Many have become frustrated with them because they don’t stay securely in place. This not only affects their ability to eat and digest food, but also their speech and confidence in social situations.

Fortunately, mini dental implant technology offers a simple and affordable approach to tooth replacement, usually about half the cost of traditional dental implants. Also, crowns are placed and dentures secured in two hours with a gentle, non-surgical approach. Healing time is greatly reduced.

To find out more about mini dental implants visit If you are interested in a free consultation or would like to find out about Healthy Living Programs for Seniors, contact Dr. Steven Rinaldi at 978 475 9141. Archives of articles from previous issues can be read at

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