The secret to having a great retirement is planning. Maybe you feel you’ve gotten your plans laid out pretty well. But if you haven’t factored your oral health into your plans, you’re not fully prepared.
Here’s why you should take care of oral health now–and what steps you should take.
Oral Health Is a Necessary Foundation
Many people don’t realize how vital oral health is to your overall health. If you have poor oral health, you’re more likely to experience serious health problems. Some of the risks you’ll see increase are heart attack, stroke, cancer, and early onset dementia.
Gum disease is a chronic infection. If your teeth are infected, it causes a chronic inflammatory state. This chronic inflammation can contribute to cancer and dementia risk. And the spread of bacteria through your blood vessels can lead to infection of the heart and arteries.
Oral health is a great foundation for a long and healthy life. In fact, a recent study found that the number of teeth you have at age 65-74 accurately predicts the odds that you’ll live to 100.
Actual patient of Dr. Nelson Clements!
Your Insurance Situation Will Change
Another reason to make sure your oral health is in good shape is that you’ll be facing a major change to your insurance. If you currently get dental insurance through your workplace, you may find that private insurance plans are more expensive, and that they may not cover as much as you would like.
That’s a good reason to get dental treatment now, while you have better insurance that covers a more significant proportion of your care.
Postponing Treatment Leads to More Complications
It’s always best to try to get dental care sooner rather than later. The longer you postpone dental care, the worse your condition can be. Decay becomes larger. Receding gums and bone loss around teeth increases. A small filling today can avoid a root canal later, and gum disease treatment today can avoid the need for dental implants later.
How to Get the Best Results
Hopefully we’ve convinced you that there’s no time like the present for taking care of your oral health in preparation for retirement. But how do you make sure you’re preparing yourself for a healthy, enjoyable retirement? Here are a few tips.
Take a Proactive Approach
Many people are content to deal with dental problems as they come. But this isn’t maximizing your current benefits or setting yourself up for a healthy retirement. It’s time to stop being reactive to your oral health. It’s time to work with a dentist who is going to take a proactive approach to oral health and look out for potential problems that may be five, 10 years in the future or more.
It may be more expensive today, but it may be cost-effective and the security it gives will be priceless.
When you take a proactive approach to dental care, make sure you’re investing in long-term restorations. For example, dental implants have the ability to last 20, 30, 40 years or more, making them a better option than a set of traditional dentures that will likely last less than 10 years.
As a side benefit, dental implants and implant dentures are better functionally than traditional dentures.
Plan for Quality of Life
You don’t want to spend your retirement just getting by. Instead, it’s important to plan on spending your retirement in a way that you will enjoy. Studies have shown that people with missing teeth and poorly fitting dentures are more likely to be homebound.
Well-fitting dentures not only help you feel more confident and social, they actually make you physically more capable of staying active.
And don’t forget that good food is one of life’s joys. An unhealthy mouth, painful teeth, and poorly fitting dentures can make it hard for you to enjoy food as you get older. And eating a variety of tasty, nutritious food will help you stay healthy and happy for a longer life.