DR. DIKSHA TAHILRAMANI BATRA
Dental care at all ages has its importance more so when it’s preventive in nature. But unfortunately as we are creatures of habit ( more so, bad dental habits) we don’t really look after our teeth until maybe it’s too late.So if you have neglected or rather not prioritized your dental health for the last 50-60 years it’s time you took charge of the situation. TAKE BABY STEPS – Sometimes it pays to reverse age and unlearn some of your previous experiences. Whether you have spent a few decades avoiding the dental chair or maybe have had a bit too much of dental work which now seems to be falling apart – either ways starting slow and easy is a good idea. Try and understand the clear picture of what all work is required and in what sequence would it best work. Have your dentist communicate everything to you in writing with a clear plan involving both time cost and longevity of the treatment.
BE PROPERLY INFORMED (ASK THE DENTIST NOT GOOGLE SEARCH)
While it’s not necessary to try and Google the treatments that are planned for you. It is wise to ask your dentist for the right information maybe in an easy to see format like clear pictures or animated videos ( not the gory ones which you will see on the Internet and get unnecessarily scared of)In this digital age it’s possible to watch almost everything that will be happening in your mouth in a video format so it’s easy to understand and know what to expect.Taking the time to understand your treatments is a new approach versus the old where you would let your dentist just get started and then be in for a rude surprise.
LEARNING THE RIGHT MAINTENANCE
After years of brushing the way we do sometimes it’s hard to assume that there could be a better way.Most people in the age group of 50 and above assume that hard brushes are the way to go.It’s only now with heightened awareness people know that soft and automatic brushes are the way to go.Installing new habits like dental flossing. Using mouth wash and tongue cleaning daily can save you from preventable problems.Dentists also now provide a host of preventive services starting at a young age but also for adults. Fluoride coating – To reduce the occurrence of decay. Sealants – To reduce food getting stuck in the grooves and fissures of the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Braces – For correcting crowded teeth which tend to decay earliest. Early gum treatments – Before teeth become mobile and are lost.
DIAGNOSIS OF DISEASES
Numerous patients over the age of 50 come in for a tooth related problem and fortunately become aware of a dormant but serious medical issue.Your mouth reflects the status of various organs and disease states in the body ranging from diabetes, cardiac health, oral cancers to anemia to name a few.Some experts claim to decipher which system in the body is affected merely by seeing which tooth is damaged. Diagnosing lifestyle diseases at an early stage via dental examinations saves patients from grave irreversible complications.
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS
We are often told “I never came to the dentist as I never had any pain” Besides dental pain there are numerous signs that should tip you off and make you aware that it is time to schedule a dental visit :
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Stained teeth
- Food sticking between teeth (incessant need to use a tooth pick after meals)
- Brown Black or grey discolouration anywhere on the teeth
- Broken teeth
- Missing teeth
- Old silver fillings
You may not realize but all of these in the mouth can affect the health of other. Teeth and reduce your chewing efficiency which can lead to long term issues and increase your chances drastically for emergency dental care.
DENTAL SIP PLAN
Dental treatments may seem expensive if you have a lot of accumulated work and the added increase in cost over the years with technology and upgrading.But putting off dental work can prove even more expensive due to increase in costs and the progress of disease in your mouth.It’s logical to assume that when the problem starts it may be cured by just a filling, if ignored it’ll proceed to be a root canal which is almost 6 times the cost with the crown and even if still ignored you may have to extract and replace which then is 7-10 times the cost not to mention the pain and time involved.To add to all this a replacement will always be a tad bit inferior to the original.So it would be prudent to start investing systematically in your dental plan so you budget the expenses and keep the experience painfree both in your mind and your mouth.Saving as little as 5k monthly can insure you to have enough of you have moderately good oral health & hygiene.
PREPARING FOR A CAREFREE DENTAL FUTURE
Part of aging gracefully is conserving gods natural gifts -teeth as you will realize are topping that list.So even if you may have damaged or lost teeth bring diligent about caring for them will serve you well for the years to come.Studies show that people with well conserved teeth be it natural or artificial have a lesser likely chance of both digestive and psychological problems.Do not ignore those missing or broken teeth in the back of your mouth.