“Getting old is not for sissies.” One of the many challenges facing our growing senior population is how do we keep our teeth and gums healthy through our golden years? When we retire and lose our health insurance, Medicare is there to pick up the slack for medical issues. But basic Medicare does not cover dental issues. In addition, as we age, our salivary glands slow down making us more susceptible to tooth decay. So how do we keep our teeth and gums dentally healthy on a limited retiree budget?
The Huffington Post posted a good blog on the subject today. In it, they discuss options including Medicare Advantage (Part C), Veterans benefits, and dental schools as options. For those on low income, they recommend contacting your local dental society, or checking with the Dental Lifeline Network which provides free dental care for low-income elderly and disabled, or look for a privately funded free clinic.
Of course, the best way to keep your teeth and gums dentally healthy as we age is to practice good dental health habits: avoid foods with sugar between mealtimes, floss and brush daily along the gum line, and keep up with routine checkups and cleanings at your dentist. And if you do need some dental treatment, ask your dentist about the pros and cons of all treatment options. A good dentist will take into consideration what dental treatment is appropriate for someone of your age and health status, as well as your values and financial means. For example, if you have multiple teeth which need to be replaced, partial dentures can be much less expensive than dental implants or bridges.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Roseville Family Dentist