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Healthy Smiles at Every Age

May 7, 2018.TruAssure.0 Likes.0 Comments

Healthy Smiles at Every Age

In previous years, tooth loss and wearing dentures were considered to be just another step in the aging process of older Americans. This way of thinking about oral health in older adults has come and gone.

Oral health has greatly improved for older Americans over the past 50 years, and more adults are keeping their natural teeth.1 With regular good oral health care, older adults can maintain a healthy smile throughout their entire lifetime.

Share these oral health tips with the older adults in your life to help keep their smiles healthy:

  • Maintain good oral health habits. Brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing once daily and visiting the dentist regularly are all crucial to maintaining good oral health.
  • Fight dry mouth. Certain medications and medical conditions can reduce saliva and lead to dry mouth. The anti-bacterial properties in saliva help protect against tooth decay and cavities. To help alleviate dry mouth, drink more water, chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy. Talk to your dentist for other options, including mouth rinses and artificial saliva.
  • Prevent gum disease. Gum disease (periodontitis) is more prevalent in older adults. Symptoms of gum disease can include bleeding gums, tender or swollen gums, loose teeth and bad breath. Good daily oral health habits, like brushing and flossing, can help prevent gum disease.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Gum disease can cause gums to recede, exposing the tooth root and making it more prone to decay. Fluoride and mouthwash protect teeth and can help prevent cavities from forming on the exposed root.
  • Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. Tobacco and alcohol use increases your risk for oral health problems, including gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting can help you greatly reduce your risk for developing these diseases.

Good oral hygiene along with regular dental visits can help keep your smile healthy for many years to come.

 

1 The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 2014.

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