How people can keep their teeth looking good as they age

As people get older, wear and tear can take a toll on your teeth, but there’s plenty you can do to keep teeth in great shape.

Cut down wear and tear

Human teeth are very strong, but they can be worn down. All that chewing, grinding, and biting wears away the enamel, the hard, outer layer of teeth. It also flattens the parts people use when they bite and chew.

No-one can erase a lifetime of wear and tear, without having it restored by a dentist, but people can keep it from getting worse. Don't chew ice or other hard foods, which may cause chips in your enamel and even break teeth.

Teeth can also be worn down by a poor bite, which may require orthodontic work, and nighttime grinding (bruxism), which may require wearing a night guard. Seek advice from a dentist.

Keep your gums healthy

Bacteria, called plaque, can cause soreness, swelling, and bleeding in the gums if left untreated.

Signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding when teeth are brushed;
  • Gums that recede, or pull back from teeth;
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath

The best way for a person to keep their gums in good shape is to take good care of their teeth. Brush twice a day and floss every day. See your dentist regularly for check-ups.

Don’t let the mouth dry out

Saliva helps to clean teeth and protect from decay. But as people get older, their mouth gets drier and the odds of tooth decay increase. Medication can also be to blame.

To fight back, drink more water. Hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. If you think your medication may be the cause, talk to your doctor.

Be kind to sensitive teeth

Worn enamel, gum problems, and tooth decay can all make your teeth more sensitive.

Good dental care is the best prevention. Brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly. If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist can recommend a toothpaste or in-office treatment that will make you more comfortable.



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A special thanks to our contributors

Caroline Egan

DCM Media, agedcare101

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.