Guest Post by Dr. Satish Pai
Getting into the 60-plus club comes with many advantages.
It’s your time to sit back and relax.
It’s your time to enjoy your retirement.
It’s also your time to read what you want or pick up any hobby that you like.
But with this all-access pass, you have a few responsibilities. Your number one priority is your health. As you grow older, you are more vulnerable to certain diseases, including a number of dental disorders.
Dental Health and the Senior Citizen
As you grow older, you are prone to a variety of dental problems, the most prominent being malocclusion. Malocclusion is the umbrella term for problems related to crooked teeth, which can impair your overall quality of life and self-confidence.
Yes, visiting the orthodontist is not just for young kids. Older adults can also need to see the orthodontist. In fact, according to a study by the American Dental Association, one in five orthodontic patients is over 18.
Here are the different bite problems you can have due to malocclusion:
- Underbite: When the front jaw extends in front of the upper jaw, it can put unnecessary stress on your jawline, and cause severe jaw pain. It can also give you a bulldog-like appearance.
- Overbite: This is the most common type of malocclusion which occurs when your upper front teeth extend over your lower front teeth. Unless you get an overbite correction from your orthodontist, you are more susceptible to severe dental problems.
Having crowded teeth can make it hard for you to brush and floss, which means that food particles can get stuck in your teeth if you don’t take proper care and form dental plaque.
This, added to the fact that your teeth have already faced so much wear and tear due to aging, can cause many problems like:
- Difficulty Chewing Food: Having misaligned teeth means that your teeth will not be able to cut food and chew on food pieces properly. If you can’t chew food correctly, inevitably, your digestion can also suffer.
- Jaw Pain: Misaligned teeth can result in jaw pain since your teeth don’t have a stable resting place. In severe cases, malocclusion can lead to chronic jaw pain and headaches.
- Tooth Wear: Teeth can often rest and hit each other in odd places, leading there to be wear and tear on your enamel, tooth fracture, and eventually, tooth loss.
Your orthodontist will generally treat your malocclusion by recommending you wear braces.
Metal braces are generally the most common way of treating misaligned teeth. They are also cost-effective and can be used to treat a mild misalignment problem or the most severe one. These braces consist of metal brackets held together by metal wires. You will have to visit your orthodontist at regular intervals to tighten the braces wire, which will gradually shift your teeth and jaw into alignment.
Getting braces to treat your misaligned teeth doesn’t have to be a big deal. You need to make sure you are picking an orthodontist that you are comfortable with, and can guide you about any questions you have about your orthodontic treatment.
Creating perfect smiles is what Dr. Satish Pai is committed to. An orthodontist by profession, he believes that a perfect smile is a powerful part of a personâ€™s personality. When he is not working hard on perfecting his patientsâ€™ smiles at Putnam Ortho, he is busy writing engaging articles about everything related to healthy and perfect smiles. His other passions include golf, yoga and surfing. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face.