Dentistry for Seniors
Our staff at Johns Family Dentistry takes the baby boomers generation seriously. Making up a quarter of the American population, it is important in our practice that we cater to the needs and treat this great generation of patients with access to the best resources available.
Good dental hygiene and oral care habits are important at any age. However; as you get older, you might find yourself wondering if your dental routine needs some tweaking, or if certain life changes have also caused changes in your mouth. Working to keep a healthy mouth is more important than ever for older adults, since most people ages 55 to 64 are keeping some or all of their natural teeth. If you have all of your original teeth, some of them or a full set of dentures, diligently caring for your mouth is just as important when you get older as it was when you were a child.
Many retirees do not realize that Medicare does not cover routine dental care. While there are supplemental insurance plans available to purchase, our office and patient experience, feel that often times these plans are very restrictive and misleading, as the coverage is very limited. We proudly offer our JFD membership plan to help make dentistry affordable and to give you a better option.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Seniors
Daily brushing and flossing of natural teeth is essential to keeping them in good oral health. Plaque can build up quickly on the teeth of seniors, especially if oral hygiene is neglected, and lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
To maintain good oral health, it is important for all individuals — regardless of age — to:
- Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day
- Visit your dentist on a regular schedule for cleaning and an oral exam
What Seniors Can Expect During a Dental Exam
If you are a senior headed for a check up, Dr. Johns and your dental hygienist will conduct a thorough history and dental exam. Questions that will be asked during your visit will include:
- The approximate date of your last dental visit and the reason for the visit
- If you have noticed any recent changes in your mouth
- If you have noticed any loose or sensitive teeth
- If you have noticed any difficulty tasting, chewing or swallowing
- If you have any pain, discomfort, sores, or bleeding in your mouth
- If you have noticed any lumps, bumps or swelling in your mouth
During an oral exam, Dr. Johns will check the following:
- Your face and neck (for skin discoloration, mole sores, cold sores)
- Your bite (for any problems in how the teeth come together while opening and closing your mouth)
- Your jaw (for signs of clicking and popping in the temporomandibular joint
- Your lymph nodes and salivary glands (for any sign of swelling or lumps)
- Your inner cheeks (for infections, ulcers, traumatic injuries)
- Your tongue and other interior surfaces — floor of the mouth, soft and hard palate, gum tissue (for signs of infection or oral cancer)
- Your teeth (for decay, condition of fillings and cracks)
If you wear dentures or other appliances, Dr. Johns will ask a few questions about when you wear your dentures and when you take them out (if removable). He will check for any irritation or problems.