Dental care is an important part of your overall health no matter what age you are. While dental care is often emphasized during youth, it's important throughout your adult and elderly years as well. As we age, our dental health care needs change; those over the age of 60 may find that they have different dental health issues than they did when they were younger. Here are a few things that you should know about dental health care as you head into your golden years.
Your Needs May Change
The first thing that you should be aware of is that your dental care needs may change as you enter your 60s and beyond. Many find that their teeth are now more cavity prone than they were when they were younger. Other dental issues that many older adults may face include gum disease, tooth loss, root decay, darkened teeth, and more. Cavities in older adults are often a result of dry mouth. There are over 400 medications that can cause dry mouth, many of which are taken by those over the age of 60. As you get older, you may find that you need more dental care than before.
Medicare Does Not Cover Dental Care
Something that you may not be aware of is that Medicare does not offer dental coverage. This means that any dental work that you have done will need to come out of your pocket, unless you have a supplemental dental plan or a separate dental insurance plan. Costs of dental care can vary depending on what you have done. Without insurance, the average cost of an office visit with an exam and cleaning is between $50 and $350; other procedures, such as root canals, can cost thousands of dollars. If you decide to go with a supplemental plan, it's important to check and see if your family dentist is in network.
Oral Cancer Becomes More Common With Age
If you are over the age of 60, one thing that you should be discussing with your dentist is oral cancer. Nearly 95 percent of all oral cancer cases are in people over the age of 45, and the average age of diagnosis is 60. Some common symptoms of oral cancer include white or reddish patches in the mouth, open sores, and changes in the lining of the mouth. Your dentist will be on alert for changes that can indicate oral cancer.
Dental care after the age of 60 is very important. As we age, our dental care needs often change. Regular visits to the dentist can help address any new problems that develop. It's also important to be aware that Medicare does not include dental care, and that your chances of oral cancer increase with age. For more information, contact companies like Dr. Jerry F. Maymi & Associates.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!