It is difficult to turn on the TV or open a magazine these days without seeing some reference or advertisement to financial planning for retirement. That’s because of the vast number of people nearing retirement. In fact, Pew Research estimates that 6,200 baby boomers will retire each day for the next nineteen years! Wow! Those golf courses and cruise ships will be packed for years to come!
It truly IS a good thing to take a close look at your financial picture long before you retire. May people learn that a little sacrifice now can play a huge part in achieving what’s really important later on. All it takes is a little planning! So what has that got to do with teeth you ask?
Any dentist will tell you, that there is a storm waiting for all of us as we age with regard to our teeth and gums. It is a combination of age related circumstances that can devastate our teeth and gums as we enter our 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and beyond. Some of things that affect our dental health as we age are:
1. Normal wear and tear (think cracks, old fillings, chipping)
2. Wear from grinding and clenching
3. Medications that cause dry mouth in an age group with already compromised salivary flow (due to normal aging)
4. Decreased bone density due to ageing and a less effective immune system to defend against gum disease
5. Decreased ability to keep teeth clean due to arthritis and other physical limitations
So what can we do to weather the coming storm? The key is to prepare for it. Just like for your retirement. This means getting everything in order before the storm hits. And if you think about it, what makes more sense than to shore up your dental health in your 40’s and 50’s, when you are more likely to be employed, more likely to have health savings accounts or benefits available, and more able to easily tolerate necessary procedures. You’ll also give yourself a much better chance of avoiding dental emergencies and tooth loss as you age!
One thing you’ll have to decide for sure is how important it is to have a comfortable “teeth retirement”. A question we often ask our patients is how much dentistry do you want done in your retirement years? The correct answer is none! And with technology available today, this is entirely possible.
If you’d like to see what it would take to get you ready for the storm, of if you‘re already there, we can definitely help. If you are already a patient, we can sit together and discuss your goals and your treatment options, often at no charge. And if you’re not a patient yet, we can offer a discount on your first appointment to help you get started down the path to better, longer lasting dentistry.