4 Tips to Maintain Dental Health as You Age
As we age, maintaining dental health is important to keep cavities and tooth decay at bay. Plus, you’ll want your smile camera-ready for all the selfies with your grandkids! Whether you have your original teeth or a set of dentures, here are a few tips for keeping a healthy smile as you age.
Tip 1: Use an electric toothbrush
According to a 2018 Healthline.com article, electric toothbrushes have been shown to cut down plaque by 21% and reduce gingivitis by 11% compared to a traditional brush. Many models have built-in timers, which help keep you on track and make sure you’re brushing your teeth for the right amount of time. Not only are electric toothbrushes a great tool to clean your teeth, but their ease of use is helpful for those with arthritis, carpal tunnel or other issues.
Along with keeping your teeth white, these types of toothbrushes can save you some savings over time. Buying replacement heads in bulk instead of purchasing a whole new toothbrush each time can be more affordable, and better for the environment. Plus, eliminating plaque and improving your dental hygiene can help cut down on costs from going to the dentist.
A few other tips when brushing your teeth:
- Gently brush your teeth on all sides with a fluoride toothpaste
- Lightly brush your tongue and floss your teeth every day
- Rinse out your mouth after using dental floss
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
Tip 2: Take your dentures out at night
Whether you’ve just gotten your first set of dentures or are a seasoned pro, it’s still important to take them out at night. This way, your gums get to take a break and you can soak your dentures in a cleaning solution that will help keep them in good shape. If you’re just getting started with dentures, stick to soft food and try chewing more slowly while you adjust!
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 5 Americans have lost all of their teeth by the age of 65. So, if you have dentures, you’re not alone! And, did you know that these celebrities had dentures?
- Clark Gable
- Florence Henderson
- Ed McMahon
Tip 3: Check in with your dentist
The number of times you should see your dentist each year varies from person to person. Certain factors, like whether you smoke or are pregnant, may call for more trips to your dentist. If you’re unsure if you need a cleaning, or are experiencing tooth pain, call your dentist’s office to see what they recommend.
Your insurance may affect how often you can go in for a checkup, too. Your policy may even cover two cleanings a year. If you don’t have dental insurance and are interested in learning more, there are a couple of options for you to get coverage.
Tip 4: Research dental coverage and/or insurance options
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover routine dental services or check-ups. However, there are Medicare Advantage plans that may include this coverage if you need it. If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, call your insurance provider to see if your plan has dental coverage. If you’re shopping for plans, make sure to ask about this added benefit. Keep in mind, you may pay an additional premium for a Medicare Advantage plan on top of what you’re paying for Medicare Part B.
Not enrolled in Medicare? Not interested in getting a Medicare Advantage plan? Already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan with no dental coverage? That’s okay! You can buy a stand-alone dental insurance plan that can be tailored to fit your needs and your budget. There may even be add-on benefits available, like a vision rider. This means you can add extra benefits and coverage for services not covered by your Medicare plan or your current insurance.
It’s important to take care of your dental health at any age! Whether it’s brushing twice a day or switching to a fluoride toothpaste, your smile is an important investment. If you want to learn more about dental insurance and other options available, contact an agent.