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  1. Caring for your teeth as you age

Dental health and aging: There’s really nothing to it.

One of the biggest misconceptions about dental health and aging is that it automatically comes with a set of ill-fitting dentures and recessive gums. What a happy image, as you move towards the time of your life when you’re supposed to have the most to smile about.

But seriously, this is a subject that has many older Australians quaking with fear and panic. So much so, that we felt it necessary to compile a list of answers to your most common questions – just to show you that there really can be another way.

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1. Is losing my teeth inevitable?

The short answer is no – it certainly doesn’t have to be. Our mouths are one of the few areas of the body that can remain just as healthy and functional in our adult years as they were when we were younger. If you brush and floss every day, keep a healthy lifestyle and visit your dentist regularly, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy a full set of teeth long into your retirement.

2. Are older people prone to certain dental problems?

Unfortunately, yes. Older people are more likely to experience certain dental issues – e.g. cracked teeth, decay or receding gum lines – mainly due to poor dental hygiene or other health conditions. While these can be quite serious, they are preventable, so make sure you discuss any concerns with your dentist during your next visit.

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3. Is there a link between dental health and other conditions?

There can be. According to Mayo Clinic, being a non-profit organisation committed to clinical practice, education and research, states that your oral health might well contribute to various disease and conditions including cardiovascular (heart) disease.1 So it is important to see your dentist regularly and disclose any medical conditions you may have to ensure you’re receiving the best possible care.2

1 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2
2 http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/109/9/1076

4. I’m taking quite a few medications. Can this affect my dental health?

If you’re taking multiple medications, you may find yourself experiencing dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.3 The best way to combat this is to drink plenty of water and maintain a balanced diet. Brushing with a soft brush, using fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly is also a tried and tested solution.

3 https://www.dhsv.org.au/dental-advice/teeth-tips-and-facts/medications

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5. I’m losing my teeth. Should I consider dentures?

Absolutely. Today’s dentures are very different to those of yesteryear. Not only are they extremely comfortable to wear, they’re also designed to look just like your natural teeth – so you’ll have no problems integrating them into your everyday life. If you’re experiencing tooth loss and you’re struggling to eat or speak, we definitely recommend having a chat with your dentist to find out more.

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Protect your pearly whites (and your budget) with quality health insurance

Maintain a good looking smile at any age without breaking the bank. Australian Unity Health Insurance makes it easier to afford dental treatments.. With a wide range of covers (including comprehensive dental plans), we’ll keep you smiling with confidence. Depending on your level of cover, you can enjoy things like:

  • Up to 100% back on selected preventative treatments (up to your yearly limit) using our No Gap Dental network
  • Benefits for advanced dental care including crowns, bridges, dentures and veneers
  • Claim on the spot or use our simple claims app
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