How to regain your oral health as you age 71



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As we get older, our dental needs change with us. When we were younger we could eat or drink anything but as we start to age, our oral health needs regular care and attention.

In my practice, over 60s express that they want to keep their own teeth or possibly restore those that are missing to help them maintain quality of life. Avoidance of pain, increasing comfort, appearance of their smile and the ability to eat certain foods are all very important.

As we age, there can be problems associated with the bones and gums (periodontium) as well as the teeth themselves.

The most common dental problem that over 60s have is the breakdown and fracture of teeth. I see many patients that have teeth that were filled in the past or which may have new incidences of decay due to some impairment or change in factors.

The condition of your teeth and gums can be a result of factors such as your general wellbeing, social support, previous dental experiences and oral hygiene, medications and nutrition, as well as swallowing and eating abilities. Preventative dental health, salivary function, fluoride exposure, access and use of dentists can also impact your oral health. Thankfully, with advancements in technology and dentistry, we have greater options available now to retain our teeth or restore missing teeth.


How to regain your oral health

The first step and most obvious step is to seek help from a dental professional. They will conduct a thorough examination and consider your medical history, previous dental history as well as social well-being of the individual. A dentist will be able to do a full assessment of the teeth with possible x-rays to get a full picture of what is happening. They can advise on what needs to be done and how best to look after the teeth and surrounding structures.


Oral health routine

It is important also to have an oral health routine that involves twice daily brushing as well as daily flossing between teeth. This will help to control the plaque that sits on teeth and causes tooth decay.


Restorative options

With modern dentistry, there are many options to restore broken or missing teeth.


Broken teeth may be restored with crowns. A crown is probably the strongest and longest lasting restoration that can be placed. They wrap around the tooth and help restore badly broken teeth and protect against further fracture. They are made from tooth coloured porcelain.


Loss of teeth can be emotionally devastating but missing teeth are best restored with implants that can recapture that smile and function once again. They are perhaps the closest thing to natural teeth.

One of the main benefits of dental implants is that they look, feel and function just like natural teeth. They are also in some cases a better alternative to dental bridges or dentures.


Bridges are made up of two or more crowns on either side of a space anchoring a false tooth/teeth in between as one unit. Again these are constructed from porcelain.


False teeth or dentures are plastic teeth on a removable appliance that is placed and removed in the mouth. They are not fixed like bridges or implants and replace missing teeth. They can either be complete replacing all the upper or lower teeth or partial replacing only some teeth.

We sometimes find that dentures and false teeth are not always the most ideal option for patients; dentures can sometimes slip in a person’s mouth and feel quite unstable. Also taste can also be altered with false teeth.

The All-on-4 implant system

This is an attractive option for those who wear dentures or for those that are about to lose (or have lost) all their upper and/or lower teeth. Therefore a full arch of teeth are supported on four implants. Unlike dentures, All-on-4 dental implants look and feel natural.


Can’t I just get false teeth? Why should I bother keeping my teeth as I age?

Keeping your teeth is ideal for maximum comfort, function and appearance. Having one or more missing teeth might lead to other teeth moving out of alignment and changing your bite. It could also compromise your appearance causing differences in the look of the face with wrinkles and changed bone structure. It can also impact the strength and density of your jawbone.

As Australia’s population ages, dental health becomes more prominent to help live according to the life we are accustomed to. Loss of teeth can heavily impact health and well-being. Therefore highlighting the importance of restoring damaged teeth and replacing those that are missing.


Do you have dentures, implants, bridges or false teeth? Or do you have your original teeth? Tell us about your oral health story below.

Stephen Iskander

Dr. Stephen Iskander is the Practice Principal of The Dental Place. He and his team offer a wide array of services from dental implants, bridges to replace missing teeth, smile makeovers, teeth straightening and preventative care.

  1. I go for regular 6 monthly checks and a clean. Problems with our teeth can cause other health issues.

  2. I had an expensive experience in Grafton, where the dentist did a deep clean of my teeth and charged $500…..when I went to my dentist in Phuket he said I needed a deep clean, I said I’d just had one, so he showed me with a mirror…the Grafton dentist hadn’t cleaned the inside of my teeth! And he hadn’t done the outside properly.
    Simply cannot afford dental treatment in Australia.

    3 REPLY
    • Dee you had work done in Phuket? I’m 69 my teeth are starting to break down but as you said it’s so expensive here. I was quoted 5000.00 for one implant here in Tassie. Are you able to recommend this dentist if so I would dearly like the name. Thank you

    • Would definitely recommend them…they have specialists in different areas, so I saw a different dentist for the extractions, to the one I saw for the crown.

  3. Agreed, Affordable Dentistry is the clue, the prices here are outrageous, I had quotes of $500.00 per tooth to do necessary work and replace loose aging fillings, finally when we were going to Bangkok we took the plunge and had our dentistry needs taken care of there, work was professional I had all my bottom teeth repaid and all fillings replaced (in one sitting and a crown for one large molar $1200.00, all fixed , don’t be afraid to go overseas if you have recommendations, Bangkok Smiles and their other Branch in Phuket come highly recommended and my dentists were trained in Germany and USA respectively. I had a specialist dentist do the crown.

    2 REPLY
  4. Coconut oil pulling will whiten teeth and improve gums

    2 REPLY
    • Its an ancient Indian Ayurvedic treatment. First thing in the morning – swish Extra Virgin Coconut oil in your mouth for approx. 20 minutes. (I use a tablespoon full, may be best to start with a teaspoon full). On completion do not swallow the oil, it is toxic, or flush down the sink. You will be amazed at the result – it whitens your teeth, gets rid of bacteria in your mouth, and your gum health will also improve. Also clears up mucus.

  5. I had all my old amalgam fillings replaced with white fillings over 7 months by my lovely dentist, and now use an electric toothbrush, recommended by my dentist. My mouth and teeth have never felt better .

  6. Been oil pulling for about 8 weeks now, and have already noticed an improvement with my teeth and gums.

  7. I have used an electric tooth brush a couple of times a week for a few years and in that time I have never needed a tooth cleaning from the dentist…saved a lot of money….I visit one every six months

  8. Dentistry is Australia is unfordable, it is silly in the long run because people end up sick and the cost goes onto medicare

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