A lovely smile is not only the first thing many folks notice; it can help indicate good health. As you age, you may notice subtle changes in your smile, like yellowing, gum recession or teeth that seem more sensitive to cracking.
According to the CDC, one in four individuals in the U.S. between the ages of 20 and 64 has untreated teeth issues, and nearly ½ of all adults aged 30 and older show signs of gum disease.
How can you help keep your teeth healthy as the decades fly by?
#1: Brushing Brush twice a day with soft toothbrush. Make sure you use toothpaste with fluoride.
#2: Flossing It’s so quick and simple, yet so many patients avoid flossing. We recommend you floss at least once a day to remove hidden debris that your toothbrush may not reach.
#3: Visit Your Dental Professionals Your regular dentist will examine your teeth and mouth thoroughly and provide professional cleaning. If you’ve already been diagnosed with gum disease, your periodontist will have suggested an additional, deeper cleaning schedule.
#4: Drink Lots of Water Older adults may take certain medications that cause dry mouth. This can hasten cavity development. Some cancer treatment may also lead to additional cavities. Drinking water is good for your entire body. Chewing sugarless gum can also help stimulate saliva production.
#5: Treat Gum Disease Some older adults delay treatment of early-stage gum disease (gingivitis) until it’s reached a more advanced stage. At this later stage, called periodontitis, the bone and gum tissue supporting your teeth can be destroyed. We can’t reverse gum disease at this point, but we can manage it to help you keep your natural teeth.
Mounting evidence links your oral health to your overall health. Indeed, gum disease is being linked to a laundry list of systemic issue like heart, lung and kidney disease, certain cancers and more. And older individuals with chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes are at higher risk for oral problems.
#6: Try For a Healthier Lifestyle Exercising helps keep your mind, body and teeth young and healthy. Be proactive: Make sure your dental professional knows about your health status. Certain heart conditions, for instance, may require the taking of antibiotics before certain dental procedures.
#7: Don’t Smoke or Chew Tobacco Smoking is bad for your health. The CDC says you have twice the risk for gum disease if you smoke!
#8 Cut Down on Sugar: Eating food with lots of sugar changes the acidity in your mouth. Drinking sugary drinks coats your teeth in a sticky film where bacteria flourishes. You should also avoid harder foods (think hard candy) that can make your teeth chip.
We only have one set of permanent teeth. At Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants & Periodontics, we encourage all our patients to always take a good look in the mirror and assess your teeth, no matter your age. Make oral health a priority to save your smile and help keep you healthy.