Adults often use the 50s and early 60s for self evaluation and improvement. After investing time, energy, and money in our careers or children, it is time to think of our personal well being. Hopefully, this includes our teeth and dental health.
At Cranford Dental in Rock Hill, SC, we work with adults on dental care plans to allow patients to retire with their teeth and gums in good shape. Of course, they want to avoid large dental expenses and problems when they are no longer working.
Here is advice for 50 to 65 years olds: Getting your teeth ready for retirement:
Improve your Smile
Is there something about your smile that has always bugged you? Would you look and feel better if your teeth were straighter—or whiter—or more uniform? Please let your dentist know what you would change if you could.
The time before retirement is an ideal time to develop a plan to make your smile look better.
Our office prepares comprehensive treatment plans based on what our patients want and need. We will prepare a plan that will help you fix problems in your mouth. To help with the plan, we use before and after models and photos to show you how how dental procedures will change the way your teeth look.
Treatment plans include a schedule to get the work done over a set time period and the cost of treatment. In addition, they factor in maximizing dental insurance benefits. As a result, dentistry seems doable and affordable rather than overwhelming.
Our patients sometimes choose dental improvements as a retirement gift to themselves or their spouse. And they never regret this self improvement. Rather, they say they wish they had fixed their teeth years before.Dr. Bill Cranford
Evaluate Teeth and Gum Health
Talk to your dentist or hygienist about your dental health. Are your teeth and gums in good shape? Does the dentist see areas that could cause problems in the future?
Discuss these issues that may affect you as you age:
Your hygienist measures your gums at least once a year. Based on the results of this exam, she will inform you if you have signs of gum problems.
Ask her what you can do to keep your gums healthy. Does she recommend changes in your home care plan that will help you avoid gum problems?
Talk to your dentist and hygienist about how to know how to detect problems with your gum health. Thankfully, dentists know how to avoid tooth loss that often goes along with gum disease.
Broken or Decayed Teeth
Ask your dentist to give a thorough evaluation of your teeth. Tell her you want to retire knowing that you are not facing major dental repairs.
The dentist and staff will take radiographs and photos and look closely at past dental restorations. Then they will put pictures on the computer screen in front of your chair. You will be able to see up close if there are problems that need to be fixed.
An important question for your dentist: How long do you estimate existing restorations will last? She can tell you if she sees work that she may need to redo or repair while you are still working and under an insurance plan.
Health Issues and Teeth
Discuss your health and how it relates to your teeth. Also inform your dentist of medications you are taking and ask how these affect your teeth and gums.
Common health issues that affect dental health include:
- Dry Mouth – Certain medications cause the mouth to dry out. This leads to decay and other dental problems. Read Dry Mouth: Causes, Symptoms, Solutions for our advice on dealing with dry mouth.
- Mental Health – Depression and other mental conditions lead to lack of desire and ability to keep up with dental health. Your dentist will help you if you struggle with maintaining good daily dental care.
- General Health Conditions – Inform your dentist or hygienist if your physician diagnoses neurological or physical health problems that you will be dealing with in the future. They will advise on how to avoid this impacting your dental health.
- Osteoporosis– Let your dentist know if you take Bisphosphonates. Unfortunately, these medications make the bones harder in the mouth. Thus healing takes longer (and may be painful) after tooth loss.
We inform patients about the potential effects of medications on the mouth. Often our hygienists can help halt damage to teeth or gums. Betsy Oliver, RDH, worked as a pharmacy tech. before joining us. Thanks to Betsy for keeping us updated on drugs and dental health.Dr. Elizabeth Cranford Robinson
Maximize Insurance Benefits
At Cranford Dental, we like to begin working with our patients 3 to 5 years before they plan to retire. Before we begin treatment, our staff looks at what their insurance plan will pay per year and what treatment their plan allows.
We schedule dental work over the years before the patient stops working, to maximize yearly benefits. Plan benefits that are not used do not carry over. And they end when the patient is no longer working.
An added plus to the patient is the ability to budget for dental care while they are working and have insurance coverage.
Our computer program helps staff look at treatment options and the way insurance works with each option. Obviously, this help patients and staff determine the treatment that works best for the patient’s financing.
Contact our office if you have questions about using your dental insurance plan in the best way as you plan to retire. We can help you maximize your benefits.
Take Good Care of your Teeth
The most important thing you can do at any age is to follow a good daily dental care plan. This is especially true for people who are approaching their 60s.
A good preventive plan includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing or using water pik, and drinking plenty of water. In addition, use fluoride if prescribed and avoid carbohydrates in drinks and foods. And of course, visit your dentist for regular checkups.
As we age, our gums often recede, exposing dentin, which is not as strong as the enamel layer. Good gum health now will avoid future problems such as root surface caries and bone loss.
In modern times, we expect people to keep their teeth for a lifetime. While we are in our 50s and still have strong teeth and gums, we should do all possible to keep them strong.
Talk to your dentist and hygienist about steps you can take to maintain healthy teeth now. They may recommend a change in type of toothbrush or including fluoride in your dental care plan. Or they may recommend more frequent cleanings if you are unable to halt decay in your mouth.
Dental Insurance for Retirement?
After we evaluate your teeth and gum health we will be able to give you an idea of what expenses you should expect to maintain healthy teeth during retirement. We will also talk to you about dental insurance.
Dental insurance plans are designed to make money for insurance companies. For most people, the cost of paying each year for dental care will be less than the premiums you pay year after year for a dental insurance plan.
Contact our office if we can help you make decisions about dental insurance during retirement.
I love serving patients through all stages of life. My goal is to avoid dental problems with good preventive care and patient education. This is especially important as adults begin to plan to enjoy retirement. I want them to be free of worry about dental problems.Dr. Bill Cranford
A plan for the best possible health will help you enjoy retirement to the fullest. We know that good dental health has a big impact on general health. Read Oral Health Connection to General Health and Heart Health to understand how strong teeth and gums will help improve your health.
If you are approaching 60, you are likely thinking about what your life will be like when you retire. Will you spend time traveling or away with grandchildren? Or will you move to a community to be closer to family?
Cranford Dental, Rock Hill, and Retirement
The dentists and staff at Cranford Dental will be glad to help you with your dental needs as your life changes. We will plan appointments around your new schedule, or help find a local dentist in your new home city.
Over the past few years, Rock Hill has been blessed with a large number of adults moving to our area to retire. As a result, we often see parents of long time patients who move to be closer to family in York County or Charlotte.
We love welcoming new adult patients to our community and to Cranford Dental.
Rock Hill would be a great place to retire. In fact, both Dr. Cranford and Dr. Robinson and most of our staff members plan to one day retire in this community. We love Rock Hill and can’t imagine a better place to live.
Contact Cranford Dental or call 803-324-7670 if you would like to discuss getting your teeth ready for retirement. Or if you have questions about anything Rock Hill.
Our office is at 1721 Ebenezer Road, near Winthrop and Piedmont Medical Center. We are convenient to Westminster Towers, Park Pointe, Chandler Place, and Harbor Chase Retirement Communities.
If you are a long time Rock Hill resident, or are a new person to Rock Hill, we would like to work with you on a plan for good dental health as you look towards the changes of retirement.
We value our long time relationships with patient families and appreciate seeing adults who value good dental health. We would love to welcome you to Cranford Dental.