Don’t forget your smile during retirement

One of the great things about retirement is having more time to do what you enjoy. But something you should never retire is your oral health care routine. In fact, it’s best to make oral health a priority in retirement, because some issues become more prevalent with age.

Take a look at some of the common problems you can run into:

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a major cause of tooth loss in older adults.

Diabetes is a growing problem among older people, and if you have diabetes, you may be more susceptible to periodontal disease.

• Older adults are more likely to have systemic illnesses in general, and as a result may take medications that cause dry mouth. Over time, dry mouth can lead to increased cavities and mouth infections.

• Age also increases your risk of developing oral cancer.

Fortunately, gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer are largely preventable. Spend time each day taking care of your oral and overall health by practicing good oral hygiene at home, avoiding tobacco and eating a healthy diet.

That's not all. Regular dental visits are also essential for keeping your mouth healthy. If you’re in the habit of waiting to go to the dentist until you have a problem, rethink your strategy. Preventive care is relatively low-cost and can identify problems early before they require costly treatment. Keeping up with routine cleanings and exams is one of the best ways to control costs. To help manage oral health expenses, consider getting dental benefits in retirement.

More than ever, older adults are keeping most of their teeth for a lifetime. By taking the right steps, you can, too!

On topic with Dr. Dill

Meet Joseph Dill, DDS, Delta Dental’s Vice President of Dental Science and Network Strategy. With over 30 years of experience in the dental field, including eight in private practice and 16 in dental insurance, Dr. Dill provides expert insights and helpful advice to keep you smiling bright.