ThinkstockPhotos-472805521Good dental care shouldn’t stop in one’s senior years. General dentist Dr. Samantha Amaro in the Scarborough area recommends seniors have regular exams and cleanings, along with denture fit assessments and oral cancer screenings.

Senior dental care optimizes overall health and well-being

Individuals in every age group need good dental care. From children to teens to young and middle-aged adults and seniors, how teeth and gums function impacts how the rest of the person feels and lives.

General dentist Samantha Amaro DMD in the Scarborough area stresses preventive dental services for all her patients. Seniors, too,  require the basics of oral hygiene, check-ups and professional cleanings to keep ahead of:

  • gum disease
  • dental decay
  • oral cancer
  • systemic problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease

What’s the dental protocol for seniors?

Regarding home hygiene, Dr. Amaro at White Willow Family & Cosmetic Dentistry recommends twice daily brushing and daily flossing. Even individuals who are edentulous, or missing all their teeth, must gently brush their tongues, cheeks, gums and palate with a good quality toothpaste. Dentures should be soaked and brushed daily to remove bacteria and plaque.

Flossing removes food particles between teeth and at the gum line to ward off gum disease, a problem for about 18 percent of people over the age of 65. Gum disease leads to more serious health problems such as dementia, stroke, hypertension and diabetes. According to the National Institute on Aging, gum disease is preventable and treatable and is not simply a natural part of aging the way grey hair is.

Regarding in-office treatments, semi-annual exams and cleanings are essential, especially for individuals with partial dentures, bridgework and dental implants, restorations common in the senior population. During an exam, Dr. Amaro looks for:

  • periodontal pockets (related to gum disease)
  • signs of decay
  • the condition of fillings, crowns and other restorations
  • bite problems
  • TMJ dysfunction and bruxism, sources of discomfort and dental breakdown
  • oral cancer

Oral cancer is a prevalent cause of illness and death in North America today.  Occurrence of oral cancer seems to peak between the ages of 60 and 70. So, skilled oral cancer screening in the Scarborough area and across the continent is vital.

Additionally, hygienic teeth cleaning at the Scarborough dentist’s office freshens breath, gives smiles a nice shiny appearance and removes disease-causing plaque and tartar. Plus, Dr. Amaro and her team assess denture wearers for stomatitis, a fungal infection stemming from poor oral hygiene.

Dental health rules for young people apply to seniors, too:

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet, avoiding sugar-laden snacks. Drink plenty of water to keep teeth clean and encourage saliva production.
  2. Brush twice a day and floss at least daily.
  3. See your Scarborough dentist for teeth cleaning, dental exams and oral cancer screenings twice a year.
  4. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.

Contact your Scarborough general dentist for an appointment

Dr. Amaro and her friendly team would rather hear from you more often than not. Contact the office for a routine appointment and come prepared to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding your oral health. Dr. Amaro’s schedule has many appointment options midday to conveniently accommodate seniors.