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Oral Care Tips for Healthy Aging

Oral Care Tips for Healthy Aging

Growing older often means facing new and unexpected health challenges. Knee pain, weight gain, vision and hearing problems – these are all normal side effects of aging. But there’s a misconception that tooth loss is in inevitable, and that’s just not true.

Depending on lifestyle and genetics, some people keep their natural teeth their whole lives. Others manage with only a few implants, crowns or a bridge. But if you take care of your teeth and gums throughout your life, you might be able to avoid complicated health issues down the road.

Why Oral Health Matters at Every Age

When people think of a healthy smile, they often think of straight or white teeth. But good oral health involves much more than a year in braces or the occasional teeth whitening.

Your mouth basically acts as a window to your overall health. Links have been found between cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. These diseases can manifest as gum inflammation, tooth loss or sores. Women especially should pay close attention to their gum health during pregnancy – as periodontitis has been linked with premature birth and low birth weight.

Teeth become less sensitive and more susceptible to tooth decay as you age. Following an oral care routine while improving other habits can not only improve your quality of life, but help you keep your teeth and gums healthy too. Healthy natural teeth will keep your healthcare costs down in the long run, because you’ll need fewer fillings, sealants, or more costly procedures like root canals and crowns.

5 Oral Care Tips for Healthy Aging

Follow the Daily 4

Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew. It’s not a new concept, but it bears repeating. Brushing twice, flossing, using mouthwash and chewing sugar-free gum each day is a routine that keeps your mouth healthy. If you have trouble cleaning the spaces between your teeth near your gum line, we recommend Soft Picks from GUM®. If your gums or teeth are sensitive, talk to your dentist about toothpaste options and soft-bristle toothbrushes.

Don’t Smoke

Another one we’ve all heard time and time again. Smoking cigarettes not only stains your teeth and makes it harder to breathe, it can also lead to heart disease, lung cancer, pregnancy complications, erectile dysfunction, anxiety, poor vision and oral cancer. If you’re considering smoking alternatives like vaporizers, cloves or smokeless tobacco – don’t. None of these alternatives have been proven to be safe alternatives, and some could be even more harmful than cigarettes.

Rethink Your Drink

According to a major study, “the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index.” And drinking sugar-sweetened beverages doesn’t just make you gain weight, it can also lead to diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and heart, tooth and gum disease. Sugary drinks eat away at the enamel of teeth, causing teeth to become weaker and thinner over time. This can lead to tooth decay, cavities and missing teeth.

You can add some flavor to your water with lemon, lime or cucumber slices. Or switch to sparkling water if you can’t live without a little carbonation in your life. 1% or skim milk is also a great choice because it includes calcium, which keeps your bones and teeth strong.

Replace Missing Teeth

If you are missing teeth, it is very important that talk with your dentist about replacing them. Your jaw is designed to operate with 28 teeth and as soon as one is out of the equation, the surrounding teeth start to drift into the empty space. This not only makes your good teeth more prone to decay and gum disease, but it can also change your appearance. The longer you wait after a tooth is extracted, the more bone volume you lose. And the more bone volume you lose, the more expensive and difficult it becomes to get teeth replaced.

If you’re interested in replacing one or more missing teeth, you have options! Talk with your dentist about dental implants, fixed partial dentures (fixed bridge) or dentures to replace your missing teeth.

Schedule an Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is commonly associated with alcohol consumption and tobacco products. However, recent studies have found other causes for oral cancer as well such as HPV. An oral cancer screening uses technology to check for abnormal cells or lesion in the oral cavity. Any abnormality detected will indicate the need for more advanced screenings and tests.

Early detection saves lives. The sooner your dentist catches an abnormal lesion or cell, the better and more predictable the treatment will be – because it will be less invasive. So ask your dentist at your next checkup to screen your mouth for oral cancer symptoms.

Natural Beauty with Braces, stunning eyes and a perfect candid expression. Wind blowing through her hair, sitting at the beach. Nikon D3X. Converted from RAW.

Thinking about Adult Braces? Know Your Options.

Has your dentist recommended braces for healthier teeth or a better bite? Is there something you’ve always wanted to improve about the appearance of your smile? Then you should know that braces and orthodontic care aren’t just for kids. At BracesBracesBraces and Mortenson Family Dental, more adults than ever before are choosing them. In fact, 20% of all orthodontic patients today are adults. Healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age.

 

Why an Adult may need Orthodontic Care

There are many reasons orthodontic care may be recommended for adults. Crowded teeth, missing teeth or jaws that are out of alignment – a condition called malocclusion or “bad bite” – can cause excessive wear on teeth. They may cause jaw pain or difficulty chewing. And they can make teeth harder to keep clean, which may lead to cavities or worse.

Cosmetic considerations are important as well. An attractive smile is a real confidence booster. And since people are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever, it can make a difference at any age.

 

Options for Adults

When you think of braces, you may think of big metal appliances on the teeth. But there are other options available that may be right for you:

  • Invisalign® – These aligners are clear trays that fit snugly over the teeth. Many adults prefer them because they are virtually invisible when worn. Each aligner is designed to shift your teeth slightly. During treatment, you go through several sets. With each one, your teeth move according to the treatment plan mapped out by your orthodontist until they are in the proper position. These aligners are removable for eating and brushing, but should be worn 22 hours a day.
  • Braces – Wearing braces no longer means having a mouth full of metal brackets. Braces are smaller and lighter. Clear brackets and ceramic brackets that match your teeth can make them a much more attractive option for adults.

Advances in the design of these options can also make the course of treatment faster than before. At BracesBracesBraces, you and your orthodontist can evaluate your particular orthodontic needs, cost considerations and personal preferences to help you make the right choice.

 

Amber’s Experience with Adult Braces

 

 

Amber had issues with her teeth crowding each other. For cosmetic purposes, she was eager to have them treated. Braces were the best option for her. Her orthodontist used clear brackets, which were much less noticeable than metal ones.

 

What was your experience like as an adult with braces?

It was great! I had clear brackets so they were not super noticeable. I had so many other adults comment on how they were considering getting orthodontics after seeing me do it.

How long did your total treatment take?

Only about eight months. I just had a few teeth I wanted to shift.

Did you experience any unusual reactions from friends and family while undergoing treatment?

Just positive comments. I was surprised how many people commented that they wanted to explore braces as well.

How did you modify your diet while wearing braces?

I stayed away from really sticky and crunchy food that could have broken my brackets. But if I really wanted something that fell into that category, I was very careful and did not bite into anything directly. I only had one broken bracket throughout my entire treatment.

Are you pleased with your results?

Absolutely! If you are an adult and you are interested in braces, go for it. It is well worth the time and financial investment to be happy and confident with your smile. You will not regret it!

 

Ben’s Experience with Invisalign

 

 

Ben was experiencing jaw pain because of his bite. His dentist recommended braces to treat the problem. At his orthodontic checkup, he learned he’d be a good candidate for Invisalign, so that’s the option he chose.

 

What was it like being an adult wearing Invisalign?

At first, it was definitely an adjustment. It was tough not to keep poking at my aligners with my tongue and to remember to do the things I needed to do to take care of them. After about a month, though, it all just became second nature. It was great. People didn’t even realize I was wearing them until I pointed it out.

How long did your total treatment last?

From first impressions to final removal, about 14 months.

How often did you have to go for treatment?

I went every six weeks or so, to get my set of trays adjusted or replaced. I came in maybe a half-dozen times during the course of treatment. I was always in and out very quickly, in about 20 to 30 minutes.

How many hours a day did you wear your aligners?

I was really good until the last few trays. Probably 20 hours a day or so.

Was it difficult to keep up with cleaning your aligners?

Well, to help me remember to brush after each meal, I hid toothbrushes and toothpaste everywhere – in the kitchen, all bathrooms, office, car, briefcase – because otherwise I wouldn’t remember. I still find them in odd places as I clean the house.

Are you pleased with the results?

I’m thrilled. My jaw doesn’t hurt when I eat anymore, and my smile looks great. I went and got whitening afterwards, just to top off the whole experience! People notice it. I didn’t think my teeth were that bad before. But when people come up to you and say, “Wow, your teeth look great,” you just know you made the right choice.

 

If you’re an adult interested in exploring the possibilities of orthodontic care, contact BracesBracesBraces or Mortenson Family Dental today.

Dr. Kim and Shelby pose in the operatory at Mortenson Family Dental in Independence, KY

Shelby’s Smile Makeover – Independence, KY

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Unfortunately, many of us are self-conscious about sharing our happiness with the world! 1 in 4 adults report they avoid smiling altogether due to the condition of their teeth. And with general anxiety on the rise, many of us aren’t keeping up with oral health due to financial concerns and daily stress.

At Mortenson Family Dental, we want you smile confidently. That’s why we’re proud to use the latest in dental technology and offer plenty of payment options that’ll help you achieve your smile goals.

 

Laser Gingivectomy

Shelby is a dental hygienist and patient at our newest office in Independence, Kentucky. She was always unhappy with her smile because of how “gummy” it was, but had never met a dentist who could help. Then she met Dr. Jinyoung Kim, who recommended a laser gingivectomy to reshape Shelby’s gum and create a nice smile line.

“I suggested laser treatment to shape Shelby’s gum because traditional surgery will produce a lot of bleeding and pain,” says Dr. Kim. “Using a laser instead of a surgical knife reduces bleeding and heals very quickly.”

Laser dentistry is a minimally invasive alternative to surgical procedures. It is used to treat gum disease because it decontaminates bacteria in periodontal pockets and delays the progression of gingivitis and periodontitis. Laser therapy is generally quick, often painless and requires only a single session to complete.

 

How was the procedure?

“The procedure was very easy honestly,” says Shelby. After X-Rays and an evaluation of her gum health, Dr. Kim had to numb Shelby’s gums. If you’ve had a filling before, you know this involves small injections of local anesthesia. Next it was time for Dr. Kim to get to work. Shelby says:

“To actually remove the tissue, she used the laser. From start to finish, it took about an hour. The ONLY uncomfortable part was when the anesthetic wore off and I was sore for about 30 minutes. Then it was as if nothing ever happened!”

Shelby's Smile - Before and After: Shelby underwent laser treatment to fix her "gummy" smile

Shelby’s Smile – Before and After

What about Aftercare?

The two greatest benefits of laser treatment are that it’s mostly pain-free and that patients’ gums heal much faster than traditional surgery. So Dr. Kim recommends patients take a break from brushing the area for about a week, stay away from alcohol and food that’s difficult to chew, and use a non-alcoholic mouthwash to keep the area moist and clean. Shelby’s gums healed completely in just a week!

I am so thankful that Dr. Kim did this for me because since then I have not been self-conscientious to smile at all!

 

If you’re interested in a smile makeover or even just a discussion about laser dentistry, we’d love to talk! Our doctors and teams stay current with advancements in laser dentistry by regularly attending continuing education courses, and are always happy to sit with you and talk about your smile goals.

 


Learn more about laser dentistry:


 

Tyiana Thompson - Mrs. Kentucky

Who does Mrs. Kentucky trust to take care of her winning smile? Mortenson Family Dental!

When Henderson native Tyiana Thompson was crowned Mrs. Kentucky 2017, she took home even more than the top title. She also won Mrs. Photogenic, Best Interview, the Career Achievement Award and Contestants’ Choice. Her chosen platform is education, specifically accessibility and diversity in education. And she is excited about the opportunity to positively impact lives and be a role model.

 

The state competition is a qualifier for the national competition for Mrs. America, and Mortenson Family Dental is proud to be her sponsor. Tyiana has been a patient since 2013 and we recently talked with her about Mortenson and her winning smile.

 

Why did you choose Mortenson Family Dental?

 

When I moved to Louisville from the Cincinnati area, I found a dentist in my neighborhood. My first visit was more like a terrible car buying experience. I actually left in tears. A co-worker told me about Mortenson so I made an appointment there for my next cleaning. It was the best experience!

 

I have the world’s worst teeth and constantly have issues with them. The staff at Mortenson makes you feel welcome from the moment you walk in the door. They are so friendly and helpful. They really want you to have a good experience. It can be embarrassing to have a cavity or be to the point that you need a root canal. But Dr. Dick and his team always make me feel at ease.

 

Why do you stay with Mortenson?

 

I love how the people who work there are so positive and caring. You truly feel cared for and like you are part of a family. Many people are fearful of the dentist because they have had bad experiences in the past. I don’t think anyone could have a bad experience at Mortenson!

 

I also love how they educate you on how to care for your teeth. They explain everything they do and review your plan with you so you understand their recommendations and treatment options.

 

As Mrs. Kentucky, how important is a healthy smile?

 

In this role, I am often in the spotlight doing events and appearances. It is very important for me to represent the state and myself professionally. I think having a healthy smile and good oral health overall is very important when you want to make a good impression.

 

How does Mortenson help you keep your winning smile?

 

Every time I am in the office, the staff educates me on how to properly care for my teeth. I have been told that I may need to cut back on the coffee and red wine, but I think the honesty from the dentists and hygienists is a good thing. Their main priority is my health.

 

What extra steps, if any, do you take to make your smile bright?

 

I do teeth whitening every few months.

 

Do you have any advice for girls on how to have a winning smile?

 

Your smile is the first thing people notice and is extremely important in making a great first impression. Therefore, you want to make sure you are at least doing the basics at an early age – brushing after meals, restricting sugar-laden food and drinks, and FLOSSING. Honestly, I struggled with flossing regularly when I was younger, and I have paid the price. Now, I floss! Also, make sure you go to the dentist regularly. Don’t put it off. Bad oral health can lead to issues with your overall health.

 

Is there anything you’d like to add?

 

Mortenson Family Dental takes the family in their name seriously. The dentists and hygienists are patient and kind with every interaction you have with them. They will work with you on payment options and treatment plans because their top priority is your health, not financial gain.

 

It is extremely refreshing to walk into a doctor’s office and have them know you by name, and remember what is going on in your life. I think that is less common in our society today. I truly appreciate all of the Dupont team. They are an amazing group of professionals!

 

 

We think Tyiana is pretty amazing herself. We wish her the best in her future endeavors!

The team at Mortenson Family Dental in Independence, KY

Now Open in Independence, Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, KY (June 26, 2017) – Mortenson Family Dental is pleased to announce our newest office in Independence, KY. The new practice is located at 2052 Harris Pike Independence, KY, in a brand new upscale Toebben retail development. The new team arrived on June 12th and immediately began preparing the clinic to see patients. Team building, training on new equipment and systems wrapped up on June 20th, but they didn’t stop there. On June 21st the team performed $1,800 of free dentistry as community outreach, and there are plans to have another free day of dentistry in 8 – 12 weeks. The new practice features 6 state-of-the-art operatories, with another 6 built out and ready to be equipped for future growth. The Independence, KY, team is led by COO & interim Regional Leader Jane Logsdon, RDO Tabby Riggs, Dr. Jinyoung Kim, and Team Leader Celeste Neu. Welcome to the Mortenson Family Dental team!

 

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