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Planning Retirement Online

Teeth for life

March 2017

woman brushing her teeth

Mrs Davies (81) is due to have her teeth checked. 'Your teeth are good for the next 50 years.' the dentist beamed. To which she replied, 'What will they do without me?'

The dental check-up and what to expect

If you’re scheduled for a check-up, your dentist should conduct a thorough history and dental examination.

 

Questions asked during a dental history check should include:

  1. When was your last dental visit and what was the reason for the visit?
  2. Have you noticed any recent changes in your mouth?
  3. Have you noticed any painful, loose or sensitive teeth?
  4. Have you noticed any difficulty tasting, chewing or swallowing? 
  5. Have you any discomfort, sores or bleeding in your mouth?
  6. Have you noticed any lumps, bumps or swellings in your mouth?

During an oral examination, your dentist will check the following:

  • Your bite (for any problems in how the teeth come together while opening and closing your mouth).
  • Your jaw (for signs of clicking and popping in the temporo-mandibular, or TMJ joint).
  • Your lymph nodes and salivary glands (for any sign of swelling or lumps).
  • Your inner cheeks (for infections, ulcers, traumatic injuries).
  • Your tongue and other interior surfaces - floor of the mouth, soft and hard palate, gum tissue (for signs of infection or lesions) and your teeth (for decay, condition of fillings, crowns and bridges, and any cracks in your teeth).
  • If you wear dentures your dentist will ask a few questions about when you wear your dentures and when you take them out. He or she will also look for any irritation or problems in the areas in the mouth that the appliance touches, and examine the denture itself (looking for any worn or broken areas).

It’s important to remember that the aging process does bring about its own set of medical problems including oral disease. For example, if you’re a regular drinker of alcohol, and/ or smoke tobacco products there’s an increased risk of oral cancer. This means it’s even more important to attend your dentist regularly in later life, so your dentist can investigate any changes that may occur.

Reasons to go to the dentist

Visiting the dentist helps with:

  • Identifying the state of your oral hygiene and identifying early oral health issues that, if left alone, will begin to cause oral health problems (such as plaque) which if untreated can contribute to cavities and gum disease.
  • Spotting developing oral health problems early so dental treatment can begin as soon as possible.
  • Providing an opportunity to learn about oral health and how to look after your teeth and gums properly.
  • Regular dental check-ups also give you the chance to ask your dentist or hygienist any questions or address any dental problems you’ve been experiencing. This is useful because brushing your teeth correctly can prevent oral health problems in the long term. Equally brushing incorrectly can actually damage your teeth.

In addition to these reasons, if you go to the dental surgery on a regular basis you’ll get to know your dentist better so you’ll know what to expect. This should help those who are anxious about dental appointments.

Keeping your teeth longer 

More people than ever have healthy teeth well into later life. The improvement in dental techniques and new advances in treatments and materials used, mean teeth that would have been lost can now be saved. Add in a good oral hygiene regime - making sure teeth and gums are kept clean- the result is many people are keeping their teeth for life.

 

 

Want to find out more?


Jelf’s healthcare specialists can help put appropriate insurances in place to protect your health and wellbeing in later life. If you’d like to discuss any specific healthcare insurance requirements with one of Jelf’s healthcare advisers, simply:

 

This information is taken from an AXA PPP Healthcare article

 

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