Question: I’ve heard of some new cosmetic techniques that can improve smiles. Are they appropriate for older adults?
Answer: Older adults can benefit from many of the options available today for improving the look of a smile. Your dentist can describe and discuss with you the range of treatments that would be right for you. Part of older adulthood is the acceptance of aging and the development of realistic expectations for appearance. In that context, dental treatment for older adults can be a healthy and adaptive way of maintaining dental health and emotional well-being. Our teeth and mouth play a critical role in psychological development and well-being throughout our lives. Modern dentistry has expanded esthetic options for people of all ages. Coupled with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, cosmetic techniques can help improve the appearance of your smile.
Question: I find that some foods have become difficult to chew and swallow. Do I really need to eat the same amount or variety of food that I did when I was younger?
Answer: Maintaining proper nutrition is important for everyone, young or old. Many older adults do not eat balanced diets and avoid meats, raw vegetables and fresh fruits because they have trouble chewing or swallowing. These problems can be caused by painful teeth, ill-fitting dentures, dry mouth or changes in facial muscles. Others find their sense of taste has changed, sometimes due to a disease or certain medications. Because of these and other factors, the diets of older adults are often lacking in calcium, protein and other nutrients essential to dental and overall health. You need a balanced diet based on the five food groups—milk and dairy products; breads and cereals; meats and dried beans; fruits; vegetables. You may need a multi-vitamin or mineral supplement, but do not be your own doctor. Use these supplements only after discussion with your physician.
Shelby Township Dentist Addresses Questions from Older Adults
If you have any further questions regarding older adults and dentistry, please give our Shelby Township office a call at 586-247-3500.