So if 50 is the new 40, and 60 the new 50… what does that mean for our teeth? People are living longer than ever before, but I think we all want quality of life, not just quantity. And a huge component is dental health and wellness. And there are some big reasons to think about getting in optimal oral health prior to retirement.
5 Reasons to Get Your Smile Retirement Ready
- Loss of dental benefits – Not all retirement plans extend benefits fully through the senior years. And regardless of how carefully one has planned for retirement, a drop in income is often a reality. So start talking with your dentist in the years leading up to retirement. Many plans have an annual maximum, so to take full advantage of coverage, space procedures out over a few years. Talk to your dentist about a five-year plan.
- Prevention – Repeated wear over a lifetime of misaligned teeth will often eventually lead to tooth loss and possibly dentures. Corrective procedures to address issues with wear and decay can prevent tooth loss and eliminate the need for dentures.
- Function, not just form – Patients often focus on the esthetic appearance of their smile to the outside world. But crooked or misshapen teeth can be a sign of bigger health issues. Sleep apnea and other airway problems, postural issues and bone degeneration present major challenges to ageing well.
- Keeping it fresh – Most of my patients who are approaching retirement or entering their senior years are fit, active and engaged individuals. Maintaining a beautiful smile for the last half of their life is as important as keeping their body and mind in great shape.
- Nutrition – Digestion starts in the mouth. And proper nutrition is essential to mainting health bone density and muscle mass. But eventual loss of teeth, discomfort with chewing and ill-fitting dentures can make it very difficult to maintain an optimal diet. Teeth need to last until the end of a person’s life if chewing solid food is a priority!
Some solutions? Much of the reconstructive work that we focus on can resolve lifelong issues with tooth shape and position, jaw and facial alignment. And with Invisalign, whitening, botox and other esthetic procedures, you will love the way your smile looks as much as the way it feels.
Some of my patients consider getting major dental work done abroad as they travel in their retirement years. Just say NO! The cost to repair poor work far exceeds the cost to do it properly in the first place. And although there may be countries with lower priced services, they do not have to adhere to the same standards as Canadian dentists.
Book a consultation to discuss with your dentist before problems develop and benefits expire. We are here to help and want to take care of your healthy teeth.