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How to Keep Your Smile Healthy as You Age

September 1, 2022.Brianna Spartz.0 Likes.0 Comments

How to Keep Your Smile Healthy as You Age

Did you know that your teeth can say a lot about your age? Aging can have a noticeable impact on your smile. As you get older, the appearance of your teeth is typically darker and duller. In addition, receding gums give the lips less support, making you look older.

Effects of poor oral health can go beyond a person’s mouth. Research continues to show a connection between oral and overall health. Gum disease has been linked to several systemic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Luckily, it is never too late to form better oral health habits that benefit your overall health. Take a moment during National Healthy Aging Month to learn more about oral health and how to keep your smile in tip-top shape.

Four ways your smile can change as you age

  • General wear and tear
  • Dry mouth caused by medications
  • Shifting teeth—can cause receding gums and make them more prone to gum disease
  • Stained/yellow teeth

Ways to prevent or minimize changes to your oral health

  • Avoid stain-inducing acids found in coffee, tea, wine, and tobacco. The use of tobacco and alcohol increases your risk for oral health problems, including gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Drink plenty of water to wash away food particles and consume a diet rich in vitamins and essential nutrients, such as leafy green salads.
  • Stay active and find ways to reduce stress. Unregulated stress can lead to teeth grinding.
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production. Most older Americans take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs; many of these medications can cause dry mouth.
  • Keep up with routine care. For example, brush twice a day for 2 minutes each time, using fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day.
  • Go for the gadgets and take advantage of great technology – especially for those with arthritis and limited mobility. Electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you. You just simply need to guide it. Most electric toothbrushes have features to enhance your brushing technique and built-in timers. Water flossers are also a user-friendly option. TruAssure members receive exclusive discounts to select Philips Sonicare products.
  • Visit the dentist regularly and make the most of your dental coverage.

Preventive care makes all the difference

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be more likely to develop gum disease.

Individuals with certain health conditions may also require additional cleanings/preventive care. However, they are less likely to get dental care than adults without these chronic conditions, per a study conducted in 2018. TruAssure offers an Enhanced Benefits Program that provides added coverage for those who might benefit from extra cleanings and expanded preventative care.

As you age, it is more important to visit your dentist regularly for preventive checkups to avoid conditions such as gum disease, cavities, and dry mouth. Dentists can also detect symptoms of more than 120 health conditions during a routine exam.

Importance of dental coverage

TruAssure’s Max Savings, Choice, and Choice Plus plans all offer three cleanings per year, which give you access to the preventive care necessary to maintain your oral and overall health. Some of our plans also include coverage for teeth whitening, implants, white composite fillings, and adult orthodontics. Additionally, unlike other carriers who may have age limits or age band rates, TruAssure plans offer no age limits or rate increases for individuals older than age 65.

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