Have you noticed as you get older that your teeth, if you’re lucky enough to still have them, are changing?
We’re noticing our teeth shifting – they seem to catch every seed we eat – and they seem to be getting longer. And our mouths are getting drier, too.
So we asked Paul Groipen D.D.S. of dental practice B&G Dental in West Roxbury and Hyde Park (and Brenda’s favorite dentist) all about it. Dr. Groipen is a member of the ADA, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Massachusetts Dental Society, and the American Endodontic Society. He’s also a certified provider of porcelain CEREC restorations.
Keep it Clean
Dr. Groipen says that as we age, our gums naturally recede, which makes our teeth look longer. (Now we know where that expression “getting long in the tooth” comes from!) That means you have more exposed tooth structure to clean.
“What makes sense is more frequent cleanings,” Dr. Groipen explained. “Also, I would have a periodontal exam to see if you have any factors which may be contributing to the natural receding gums.”
He also recommends adding a Waterpik to your routine, because as we age our mouths can seem drier and our teeth stickier. Food sticking and touching teeth that are more exposed at the gumline can create potential decay.
“I also urge everyone to use an electric or battery powered toothbrush,” says Dr. Groipen. “It doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles, as long as it has the ADA seal of approval. My personal choice is the Oral-B.”
Dr. Groipen says many of his patients also like the Sonicare brush. (But if you use it, make sure you shut it off before you take it out of your mouth – otherwise it might spray the bathroom mirror!)
Rinse, Rinse Baby
Dr. Groipen uses a fluoridated oral rinse usually before bed (his favorite is Listerine). “As a dentist, I can tell you fluoride works,” he says. “But, people who prefer not to use a product with fluoride can find most products in a non-fluoride formulation.”
For a dry mouth, Dr. Groipen says Biotene seems very good for most people, and they make several products – lozenges, gums, and sprays. If you can’t find the Biotene product you’re looking for in a smaller store, Walmart has a good variety.
Check The Label
Dr. Groipen cautions, “There are so many new pastes, products and whiteners, but don’t take it for granted that every product on the market is the same. The ADA approval has merit because it means the product has been tested and studied.”
Flossing also is key – many of us saw this sign at our pediatric dentists’ offices growing up, and it still applies today: “Only Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep!”
For more great tips visit www.bgdental.com