Teaching young kids proper dental hygiene is key to maintaining their overall health well through old age. But as you get older, it is equally important that you alter your dental care routine in accordance with the changes in density and durability of your teeth.

According to dental professionals, older Americans are keeping and maintaining their teeth longer than any previous generation in history. Additionally, the number of teeth that elderly individuals have retained in seniority has also increased. But although our tooth longevity may be improving, it also raises the possibility of potential dental problems that can still arise over time.

Here are a few of the common dental problems suffered by older individuals:

Cavities: While children are very susceptible to cavities because they tend to eat more sugar and are less thorough in their brushing and flossing regimen, adults are also prone to cavities, both on teeth that have never had a problem before and surrounding fillings. It is even possible to get these pesky dental issues at the root of your tooth, because as you age, your tooth becomes softer and in some cases can expose the root. One of the easiest ways to strengthen your teeth, and remove some of the risk of cavity, is to regularly use fluoride. This can be implemented into your daily brushing routine through special toothpaste or fluorinated water.

Crowding: Do you notice more overlapping or gapping in your teeth than you once did? That is probably because as you age, your teeth tend to shift, which can create not only a different cosmetic look, but also make it more of a challenge to clean your teeth properly, causing decay.

"It's also of concern because misaligned teeth can lead to teeth erosion and damage to the supporting tissue and bone, " writes Andrea Atkins of Grandparents.com. "Add to that the tendency of older adults to have periodontal disease, and you could end up losing your teeth even faster."

Dry Mouth: Saliva is an integral part of tooth health as it protects against decay by rinsing away bad bacteria and plaque build-up. But the older we get, the more susceptible we are to dry mouth and the sticky sensation on our tongue associated with it. Saliva produces calcium and phosphate that prevent the demineralization of your pearly whites, which is why when you lack a sufficient amount of saliva, you can experience bad breath, more sensitive teeth and a metallic taste throughout the the day. The best way to remedy this is to chew gum, sip water or suck on a hard candy!

Many of these problems can be alleviated by treatment from a dental professional like an orthodontist. For more information on orthodontists in New York and how Upper Eastside Orthodontists can help, contact us today. For more dental problems associated with older chompers, stay tuned to this blog! 

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