As you grow older, it’s important to keep up with your teeth. Perhaps you or your companions don’t see the need to go to the dentist, but the impact of good dentistry on your teeth and overall health is undeniable.
Here, we’ll explore all you should know about geriatric dentistry.
Why Do Older Adults Not Go to the Dentist?
With retirement, spending time with family, and other life events in full swing, it can be difficult to prioritize your oral health.
Here are some specific reasons why seniors don’t visit the dentist:
- Cost: Seniors don’t have workplace insurance coverage. Programs like Medicaid offer limited coverage for dental procedures. Some seniors don’t view paying out-of-pocket as a realistic option.
- Misinformation: Some seniors believe that they don’t need to go to the dentist because they don’t have teeth. This is simply not true. At a visit, you can be fitted for dentures and get exams to screen for signs of oral cancer.
How Your Oral Health Affects You
Your oral health is important in so many ways. Some of the top reasons include:
Contributing to Your Bodily Health
Your oral health doesn’t just benefit your teeth and gums. Poor oral health can lead to:
- Heart disease
Neglecting to visit a dentist can lead to specific oral issues like:
- An uneven jawbone
- Root decay
- Darkened or otherwise discolored teeth
- Gum disease
Giving You Confidence
There is an aesthetic appeal to good oral health.
A white, aligned smile is self-assuring. It can help you feel confident and allow you to more fully enjoy social interactions.
Ceramic crowns, veneers, and other types of cosmetic dentistry from Calgary, for example, all help seniors smile with confidence. More standard services, like teeth whitening and cleaning, help preserve your smile for life.
How to Go on a Budget
If the cost of going to the dentist is daunting, use these tips for going to the dentist on a budget.
Limit Unnecessary Visits
At home, be sure to care for your teeth. Take these preventative measures:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss daily
- If you have extra-sensitive teeth, use a gentle toothpaste.
- Avoid foods that may cause tooth damage, like hard candy or acidic fruits
Even though skipping out on visits may save you money temporarily, it isn’t a financially-savvy habit. Attending regular visits prevents the need for costly treatments down the road.
Review Your Options
Look up different dental offices around you. They will vary in price based on the services they offer and the areas where they operate. Consider driving to a nearby area with a lower cost of living. The extra minutes it takes to drive to a different location can save you money, especially on costly procedures.
Look for Coupons
Some offices offer special coupons or deals for new customers. Look actively on saving sites like Groupon or browse your local newspaper.
Go to a Dental Hygienist
In many areas, you can see a dental hygienist without a dentist present. These types of visits are significantly less expensive than regular office visits. Be sure to research the regulations in your area. Some areas restrict what a hygienist can treat.
Ask for a Discount
If you’ve been going to the same office for years, consider asking for a discount. Most dental offices are willing to negotiate a price, especially on a costly procedure. Do so before you receive treatment. You can also request treatment to be performed in different stages. This way, you have time in-between visits to save money to pay for your treatment.
Visit Your Dentist!
Managing your oral health as a senior can be intimidating. As with other adults, seniors should have their teeth cleaned twice a year. You should also get X-rays at least once a year to ensure there are no underlying problems with your teeth or gums.
Take command of your oral health as a senior!
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