The baby boomer generation is the first in which the majority will retain their natural teeth over an entire lifetime. This, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can be attributed largely to fluoridated water and toothpaste.
Even so, it is important to remember that as we grow older our teeth require much of the same care-if not a little extra. Aging teeth are more susceptible to cavities and gum disease, sensitivity, and dry mouth.
Here are some tips for healthier teeth throughout a lifetime:
Maintain healthy habits – Brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist regularly. Keeping on top of the basics can help you fight decay and catch problems early, when they are often most manageable and less expensive.
Care for your dentures – Brush them thoroughly each day and rinse them following every meal. A soft-bristled, denture-specific brush and a gentle denture cleaner are recommended-regular toothbrushes and toothpaste are too harsh. Also brush your gums daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush to keep the tissue healthy and remove plaque.
Do not let your dentures dry out; they can become warped. Keep them in water or denture solution when you are not wearing them. Dentures are delicate, so handle them carefully to prolong their life. They should be held over a folded towel or sink filled with water to lessen the impact should you drop them.
Self-screen – Oral cancer occurs most frequently in men over age 40. Examine your mouth for red or white patches on your gums or tongue, sores that fail to heal within two weeks, or an unusual hard spot on the side of your tongue. Notify your dentist promptly if you notice any of these symptoms.
Eat and drink wisely – What you eat can have a big impact on your oral health. Drink lots of water to help wash away food and neutralize plaque-especially if you experience dry mouth. Keep sweets and sticky foods to a minimum, and brush and floss as soon as possible after you’ve had them.
Stay insured – Access to preventive care and having a dental insurance plan are linked. Having dental insurance throughout a lifetime may mean maintaining better oral health and saving money.
Continue caring for your teeth no matter how old you are. If you haven’t been on top of your oral health, then start now. It is never too late to begin!
Original Source: Enzine Articles