Most parents realize that their kids are in need of preventive dental care, in order to protect their young smiles from cavities and other common dental problems. But as kids themselves, of aging parents, they may not consider whether or not their parents’ smiles are getting the preventive care they need? Unfortunately, a recent study by NPR indicates that dental decay is on the rise amongst senior citizens, which estimated that nearly one in three senior adults in America is struggling with dental decay. Over time, what would be simple cavities can progress to painful tooth infections and eventually tooth loss. Fortunately, these and many other dental issues are preventable through proper dental care. The question is, are your parents getting the care they need?
Are Your Parents Getting the Care They Need?
NPR’s study indicated that a lack of basic dental care, as part of Medicare’s coverage for seniors, could be a contributing factor in the high percentage of seniors struggling with dental decay. Without routine preventive appointments, most people will struggle from acidic erosion that can cause cavities, gum disease, and eventually the need for extensive restorative treatment, such as root canal therapy, or even extraction, followed by prosthetic options.
To help your parents ensure their smiles are being properly protected, ask if they have been seeing the dentist every six months for preventive care like checkups and cleanings. If not, consider helping to fund these important routine visits, which can help to prevent a host of oral health issues.
If your parent, or another senior you know, starts complaining about dental discomfort, it is also important to make sure they schedule a restorative appointment as quickly as possible. Prompt restorative treatment is the best way to prevent worsening dental issues, such as infection.