Dental Articles for Seniors

Tips for Soothing a Teething Baby

Mother kissing baby on the head

Every baby is unique, even when it comes to teething . Generally, you can expect that your child will start teething around the age of 6 months, but it might happen earlier, such as around 4 months. And, as more teeth grow in, your baby might experience teething symptoms until the age of 2.

How can you tell if your baby is teething? Symptoms vary, but they typically include crankiness and irritability, along with drooling. Your child might also cry more, and might want to chew on things in an effort to get relief from sore, swollen gums. Also, you might notice that your baby’s appetite decreases, and his or her temperature might rise slightly, but not enough to be considered a fever.

When your precious son or daughter is uncomfortable because of teething, you want nothing more than to eliminate that discomfort. With the tips below, you can do just that, and before you know it, you’ll see those adorable little chompers whenever your little one smiles.

How to Soothe a Baby That’s Teething

There are a variety of ways to soothe your teething baby, and they include:

  • Wash your hands, and then gently massage your little one’s gums using circular motions with your finger. Alternatively, you can try using wet gauze instead of your finger.
  • Gently apply a clean, cold washcloth to the gums, or let your baby chew or suck on it while you supervise. Start by soaking the washcloth in water. Then, wring it out and let it sit in the refrigerator until it’s nice and cool before giving it to your child.
  • Put a metal teaspoon in the refrigerator until it’s cool to the touch. Then, you can gently place it on your baby’s gums to massage them.
  • Purchase a teething ring or teething toy that’s designed for babies, and be diligent about keeping it clean so your child can chew on it for relief. You might also be able to place it in the refrigerator to provide cooling relief but read the label carefully to be sure it’s safe to do so.
  • As an alternative to a cold washcloth or spoon, you can try giving your child some fruit that has been chilled in the refrigerator, as long as he or she is already used to eating solid food. You can use a mesh feeder, placing the fruit inside, so your little one can chew on it.

Note: You might be wondering if teething bracelets and necklaces are a good option for teething relief. The answer: not really. Experts recommend steering clear of these products, which are a choking hazard.

What About Medications for Teething Babies?

Should you give your baby medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to provide relief from teething discomfort? Well, it’s best to consult your child’s pediatrician for the answer to this question because some remedies are not recommended.

For example, it isn’t a good idea to give your baby a medicine that contains lidocaine or benzocaine, and even herbal and homeopathic remedies might not be appropriate. Your baby’s doctor can direct you to the best and safest remedy so you can rest assured you’re making the ideal choice.

It’s Time for Your Baby to Meet the Dentist!

Once you see your baby’s first tooth erupt, it’s time to make an appointment with a dentist . That way, your child’s mouth can be examined by a pro, and you can get advice on oral care for babies so you can help ensure every tooth grows in perfectly.

Thankfully, It’s Temporary!

It might be a difficult time for you and your baby, but teething symptoms often decrease and resolve after a few days, particularly when the tooth starts erupting from the gums. By being patient, and by comforting your child with the suggestions above, you can make teething a less intense experience. But if you’re noticing that your strategies aren’t working, consult your baby’s dentist or physician for personalized guidance.

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How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Lady with glasses smiling

Your vision is so very important, so taking care of your eyes as you get older should definitely be part of your wellness routine. But what steps can you take to keep your eyes healthy?

It Starts with Seeing an Eye Doctor on a Regular Basis

Whether or not you’re experiencing symptoms or having issues with your vision, it’s a great idea to see an eye doctor on a regular basis, such as annually. He or she will have special tools and instruments that can look at the interior structures of your eyes, such as your retinas, to be sure everything is healthy. These exams can also spot eye problems in their earliest stages so you can treat them right away.

Take Steps Daily to Protect Your Peepers

In addition to being examined by a pro, there are steps you can take every day to maintain the health of your eyes, such as:

  • Eat right and take supplements – Foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats are considered beneficial to the eyes. Consider decreasing your intake of unhealthy foods, such as those that are high in saturated fat, and reduce your consumption of alcohol as well. You can also talk to your eye doctor about taking a high-quality supplement that contains nutrients known for supporting the eyes (such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect the eyes from blue light).
  • Get plenty of exercise – Leading an active lifestyle that includes exercise isn’t only important for your overall health, it’s also great for your eye health. That’s because working out can help improve circulation that delivers oxygen to the eyes and helps eliminate toxins.
  • Wear sunglasses and other protective eyewear – You don’t have to stare directly at the sun to damage your eyes. The sun’s UV rays are capable of doing harm. In fact, your risk of conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts might increase if you don’t protect your peepers with high-quality sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. And don’t forget to wear safety glasses when you’re playing sports or working in an environment where you’ll be exposed to materials that can get into your eyes.
  • Protect your eyes from blue light – Devices like your smartphone and computer give off blue light that can be harmful to the eyes, and staring at screens for too long can cause eyestrain. Consider taking frequent breaks to look at something in the distance for a bit (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds). You can also try minimizing glare, wearing glasses that filter blue light, and blinking frequently. Plus, it’s wise to keep the top of your computer screen slightly below eye level, and at least 20-24” away from your face.
  • Ditch the cigarettes – Here’s yet another solid reason to finally quit smoking: this unhealthy habit can raise the risk of eye problems like optic nerve damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Yikes!
  • Get enough rest – A lack of good quality sleep can take its toll on your eyes. Who knew?! If you’ve developed symptoms like dry eye or eyestrain, it might be because they aren’t getting the rest they need. By simply getting more hours of sleep, you might notice that your eyes feel better during the day.
  • Take care of your eyes if you wear contacts – If you wear contacts, talk to your eye doctor about the best ways to take care of them so you can avoid complications. For example, taking them out before going to sleep is wise, as is making sure you store them in a clean case.

Worried About the Cost of Eye Care? Spirit Can Help!

In addition to dental insurance, you can also get vision insurance from Spirit. That way, you can rest assured that you’ll be covered when you need to see the eye doctor for an exam or a new prescription for glasses and contacts. With the right plan, you won’t have to worry about missing out on the care you need to keep your eyes healthy, no matter your age.

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How Your Medications Can Affect Your Oral Health

Bottle of gel pills spilled onto table

You know that medications can come with side effects, but a lot of people don’t realize that there are some medications that can affect your oral health, in particular. Here’s a brief look at how the medicine you take to combat one condition might end up causing another problem involving your teeth and gums.

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Everything You Need in Your Oral Health Toolkit

Toothpaste and toothbrush layng on a counter

Taking care of your teeth and gums at home is the first step in maintaining your oral health. Of course, you’ll need to see your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings too, but if you have the right tools at home, your dentist is sure to be impressed with how great your pearly whites look.

What goes into an oral health toolkit? We break it all down for you below.

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Dentures vs Implants: Which Is Best For You?

Older lady smiling into a mirror in her dentist's chair

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, two popular remedies are dentures and implants. But which one is right for you? Here’s a look at some of their pros and cons to help you decide.

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Baby's First Dentist Appointment | How to Prepare

Dentist opening babies mouth to look at teeth

It’s time for your baby’s first trip to the dentist! This can be both exciting and a little scary, especially since it will be a totally new experience for your little one, who might feel uneasy about being in a strange place with a dentist he or she has never met. However, there are steps you can take to prepare and to ensure everything will go smoothly. To see what we mean, check out our tips below.

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How Do Dental Sealants Work?

Lady in dentist chair talking with her dentist

Have you heard of dental sealants? If you haven’t, it’s definitely worth becoming familiar with this treatment option, which might help you avoid the dreaded dentist’s drill.

What are dental sealants, and how do they work? Who would be a good candidate for a sealant, and are they really effective? We’ve got you covered with some helpful information below.

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Your Guide to Overbite Correction

Young adult looking in mirror at dentist office and smiling

Do your upper front teeth overlap or protrude over your bottom teeth? Then you might have what’s known as an overbite.

While a minor overbite may not be a problem, your dentist will likely recommend fixing a more severe overbite so it doesn’t lead to problems down the road, like headaches and jaw pain. Plus, an overbite might even impact your speech, so resolving this issue sooner rather than later is best.

If you have been diagnosed with an overbite, or your child has one, don’t worry, as there are several ways that you can go about treating this problem. Check out our guide below to see what we mean.

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Vision, Dental, and Medicare: What is Covered?

Older couple looking over paperwork of what is covered with their dental insurance

A commonly asked question is: will Medicare cover vision and dental? After all, the world of medical insurance can be confusing! To help, we’ve compiled some handy information that you can use to be sure every aspect of your health care needs are covered.

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Medicare Coverage and What the Extra Coverage Is

Older couple at kitchen table looking over insurance paperwork

Medicare: it can provide great health insurance, but it can also be confusing to figure it all out, especially if you’re turning 65 and you’ll be applying for it for the first time.

To help clear things up, here’s some information on what Medicare coverage provides, along with some info on the extra coverage options that are available, and why they are available.

With a better understanding of what you’re actually going to be getting through Medicare, you can make a smarter decision when it comes to purchasing supplemental plans that you think you’ll need.

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Ok, Boomer... Here's What You Need To Know About Your Teeth As You Age

Older man smiling while looking at his teeth in mirror

Your whole body transforms in dramatic ways as you get older, but did you know that teeth also undergo a lot of changes? Knowing what to expect when it comes to your pearly whites, and having an understanding of aging teeth problems, will help you stay in control so you can keep your gums strong and your smile bright.

Below is a short list of some of the main things that can happen to the teeth and gums as you age.

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What Happens When Cavities Are Left Untreated?

Doctor Dentist Showing Patients Teeth On Xray

Do you think you might have a cavity because you have a lot of sensitivity, or maybe even a toothache that won’t go away? Are you avoiding going to the dentist? Or have you been told that you have a cavity, but you’re avoiding getting it drilled and filled? Unfortunately, that’s a really bad idea.

What happens when cavities are left untreated? Do they just stay the same, or can they get worse? We cover the basics below so you can better understand why it’s always best to address any cavities that you’re dealing with.

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How to Inspire Healthy Dental Habits for Your Kids

Boy showing his mom how well he brushed.

The sooner your kids learn the value of good oral hygiene, the better. If they understand the importance of brushing and flossing every day, they’ll be more inclined to continue those healthy habits as they get older. And if they get used to seeing the dentist on a regular basis, they’ll realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of whenever they need a checkup, cleaning, or treatment.

How can you inspire healthy dental habits for your kids? It’s easier than you think! We’ve compiled a few tips below that you can use to get started.

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Health and Dental Health - There Are More Connections Than You Think!

Dentist and patient making a heart with their hands.

Taking care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing daily, and by seeing your dentist at least once a year, isn’t only going to help ensure your smile remains bright and beautiful; it can also be a step towards keeping other areas of your body healthy too. That’s because, when it comes to overall health and dental health, there are more connections than you might think.

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Cavities - A Deep Dive

Lady holding a large cupcake and tooth.

Whether you’ve been lucky enough to never have been diagnosed with them, or you have had to get multiple fillings throughout the years, everyone dreads being told that they have cavities.

But what are cavities, exactly? What causes them, and what can be done to prevent them? We cover the basics below so you can take extra steps towards avoiding the problems that result from extensive tooth decay.

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Root Canals: What They Are and How To Avoid Them

Doctor looking at tooth x-ray.

Root canals can be scary, but they might be the only way to salvage a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted—so they can’t be that bad, right?

To learn more about what a root canal is, and to discover some of the steps you can take to limit your odds of ever needing to undergo this procedure, check out the information below.

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Swollen Gums Are Your Mouth's "Check Engine" Light

Kids smiling in a classroom before eating lunch

You already know that when the check engine light in your car comes on, something is amiss. But did you know that swollen gums are basically your mouth’s own “check engine” light? It’s true! Check out the information below to see what we mean.

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Be The Best Tooth Fairy With These Tips and Tricks

kids smiling in a classroom before eating lunch

Your child has lost a tooth, and it’s an important milestone to celebrate! In fact, it’s as exciting as when your child started teething, right?

One of the most popular ways to celebrate this step in your child’s development is by playing the role of the beloved tooth fairy. But, rather than merely putting some money under your child’s pillow, there are other creative ways to have a bit of fun and make the experience even more memorable for your little one.

Check out the tips and tricks below if you’re ready to become the best tooth fairy ever.

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10 Signs You Need Glasses (And 3 That You Don't)

kids smiling in a classroom before eating lunch

Have you been wondering if your vision could be better? Or have you noticed that your vision isn’t as good as it used to be? Maybe you’re wondering if glasses would help you see more clearly. But do you really need glasses, or can you continue doing without?

To help you answer these questions, we’ve put together a list of 10 signs you need glasses. But just keep in mind that only an eye doctor will really be able to determine if corrective lenses are right for you. So, if you have any questions about your vision, make an appointment with a professional who can examine your eyes and give you the proper diagnosis.

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Eye Problems & You: A Beginner's Guide

Man rubbing his nose to help with eye strain

Your vision is important, and part of keeping your eyes healthy involves having an understanding of some of the eye problems that may develop over time, as well as some of the problems that are quite common among the population.

To help you discover more about your eyes, we’ve compiled a short beginner’s guide to some of the ailments that your peepers might suffer from. Keep in mind that, if you start to notice any changes in your vision or you begin experiencing new symptoms, you should see an eye doctor right away to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment, and to be able to see your best.

Now, let’s get started, shall we?

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