Scunthorpe dentist turns the spotlight on dental care for older people

As we get older, it can become more difficult to look after our teeth. But it is actually more important than ever to keep on top our oral health in our autumn years - and our Scunthorpe dentists are here to help.

Am I certain to lose my teeth as I get older?

No. Winterton Dental’s principal dentist, Andrew Crosby explains that with the right home care and help from our dental team, it is possible to keep your teeth for life. Gum disease and tooth decay can be prevented whatever your age.

What problems may I face in later life?

Our gums may shrink back as we get older, and our teeth may become more sensitive as a result. Kelly Hercus, the excellent dental therapist at our dental practice on King Street can show you the best brushing methods to keep any gum problems under control and may suggest a toothpaste to deal with sensitivity.

We may find it more difficult to clean our teeth properly if we have problems with our hands or arms, or if our eyesight is deteriorating. A magnifying mirror and a good light are often helpful.

If you have lost some teeth in the past and have bridges, dentures or implants, you may have particular cleaning needs. Please ask us for advice as we can help.

Some people take regular medication which makes their mouth dry. Saliva helps to protect your teeth against decay, so if you have less saliva than usual ask for advice. You can buy special products, including artificial saliva, in most pharmacies without a prescription.

What do I need to clean my teeth properly?

You need a small-headed, medium-textured toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. To help clean between your teeth you could use an interdental brush, floss or tape. If you have arthritis you may find it difficult to grip a toothbrush handle, but you can buy handle adapters to help with this.

Electric toothbrushes are also ideal for people with limited movement. The handles are thicker and easier to hold and the oscillating head does most of the work. If you have any questions, please ask and we will do all we can to help.

What causes mouth ulcers?

Mouth ulcers can be caused by broken teeth, poorly fitting dentures or sharp pieces of food. Once the cause is removed, ulcers should heal within 3 weeks. If you notice an ulcer that does not heal, please contact our dental team straight away. Many serious conditions, such as mouth cancer, can be better treated if diagnosed early at a routine dental health examination or specific mouth cancer screening visit.

What if I have missing teeth?

Dentures, bridges or dental implants replace lost or missing teeth so that you can enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence. Contact us to find out more.