Your teeth were meant to last a lifetime, it’s true. But teeth age, just like the rest of our body, and each new decade we enter is highlighted by different adult dental care concerns. We’ve compiled the top dental help tips for adults so you can get a peek into your dental future and know what dental care strategies you should brush up on now!
Adult Dental Care in Your 20s
Your teeth are in the prime of their life, and with few dental concerns and a busy lifestyle, it’s easy to forget about going to the dentist right now. But don’t put dental checkups on the back burner. Stay on top of your appointments and up-to-date with your dental health to ensure your teeth will be strong for decades.
Typical dental concerns in your 20s: Wisdom teeth, enamel wear from too many acidic beverages, tobacco use (which can lead to oral cancer or gum disease), poor flossing habits.
TIP: Stay away from too many acidic beverages, like soft drinks, which can eat away at tooth enamel. Keep up with good daily habits of brushing and flossing and they’ll be healthy for decades to come.
Adult Dental Care in Your 30s
Stress tends to hit very hard during this decade, particularly from career and family issues. Even though you may be handling it during the waking hours, your subconscious might be causing you to grind your teeth at night. Also called bruxism, teeth grinding can cause headaches, damage your dental work, and break down your otherwise healthy teeth. Look for healthy ways to deal with your stress – such as exercise, meditation, or spending time doing something you love. If you have severe bruxism, your dentist can create a dental mouth guard to keep your teeth safe while you sleep.
Typical dental concerns in your 30s: Bruxism, gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer.
TIP: Stress can hit hard during this decade, and you may be taking it out on your teeth. Your dentist can check for signs that you may be grinding your teeth. Dental guards can minimize the damage.
Adult Dental Care in Your 40s
Welcome to the decade where you start to hear more about replacement fillings, crowns, and root canals. Unfortunately, most fillings don’t last a lifetime, and yours may be wearing out right about now. As large fillings degenerate, portions of the teeth may break off, creating a need for a crown or even a root canal. Don’t worry – new dental technologies have made these procedures quick and relatively painless. Crowns, which used to take multiple visits over a series of weeks, can now even be completed in one day with CEREC technology.
Typical dental concerns in your 40s: Replacement fillings, crowns, root canals, receding gums, and thinning enamel/tooth decay.
TIP: Fillings usually don’t last a lifetime; in your 40s, you may need replacements. Root canals, crowns, and receding gums are special concerns now, so pay close attention to your daily brushing and flossing habits.
Adult Dental Care in Your 50s
Changes in your body can mean changes in your sleep habits. Sleep apnea, is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow breathing during sleep, and can occur at any age, but is prevalent in people over 50. This can be attributed to weight gain, sinus issues, hormonal fluctuations, and sedative, alcohol, or tobacco use. The effects of sleep apnea can range from mild headaches and moodiness, but it has also been linked to more serious medical issues like diabetes and heart disease. Your dentist, along with your primary health care provider, can treat sleep apnea. Wondering whether you may suffer from this sleep disorder? Take our sleep apnea quiz.
Typical dental concerns in your 50s: Sleep apnea, gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth decay.
TIP: Sleep apnea is a real concern now, and can lead to headaches, depression, even heart disease. Your dentist can help diagnose sleep apnea and suggest some simple treatments for it.
Adult Dental Care in Your 60s
The medications you take for problems relating to your body may be affecting your dental health. Most notably, medications to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies and colds, obesity, acne, epilepsy, hypertension (diuretics), diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders, urinary incontinence, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease, can reduce saliva and leave you with a dry mouth. Why is this a dental problem? Because saliva helps prevent bacteria, which can lead to tooth decay. If dry mouth is a problem for you, make sure to drink plenty of water and talk to your dental professional.
Typical dental concerns in your 60s: Dry mouth, receding gums, dentures/bridges, sleep apnea, and oral cancer.
TIP: Many medications – prescription and OTCs – can cause dry mouth, and that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Drink plenty of water; if dry mouth still a problem, talk with your dentist or hygienist.
Adult Dental Care in Your 70s and beyond
Aches and pains in your hands may be making it difficult to properly grip your toothbrush or floss. But good dental hygiene is as important as ever. Luckily, there are all kinds of devices available that make dental care easy, including electric toothbrushes and dental floss holders. Ask your dental health professional for suggestions, or browse the aisles of your nearest home health care store. If you’re digitally savvy, look online for more options.
Typical dental concerns in your 70s and beyond: Difficulty in maintaining daily dental hygiene, dry mouth, gum disease, sleep apnea, and oral cancer.
TIP: Aching hands can make gripping a toothbrush or using floss difficult. Consider purchasing an easy-grip or electric toothbrush and floss holder. There are plenty of options out there – talk to your dental professional or a home health care expert.
Healthy teeth and dental care are important at any age. Schedule a visit with Dr. Wolnik at (440) 888-5055, or book an appointment straight from our website (click on the green “Book an Appointment” button).
Adult Dental Care in Parma Heights, Ohio
Schedule a visit with Dr. Wolnik at (440) 740-3283, or book an appointment straight from our website (click on the green “Book an Appointment” button).