Growing older doesn’t mean losing all of your teeth. You aren’t necessarily condemned to a future of wearing dentures that are whiter than white. What it does mean is paying extra attention to your mouth, gums and teeth. If you do, you can be among the more than 75% of people who retain most of their natural teeth past the age of 65. Oral health as you age is very important!
What are some ways you can protect your teeth as you age?
- Brush and floss your teeth. Brush at least twice a day and use a soft bristle brush that won’t be hard on your enamel. Use floss or a flossing tool at least once a day.
- See your dentist. This may seem like a no brainer but many people avoid the dentist as much as possible. Your dentist can discover oral health problems early before they turn into something that can’t be repaired. While you’re there have your teeth cleaned. Twice a year visits should be good enough unless you have gum disease in which case every 3 months may be necessary.
- Stick to a healthy diet. A poor diet can aid in developing gum disease and tooth decay. Some foods deposit more plaque on your teeth than others. Try eating more leafy greens, apples and celery. All can aid in the production of saliva or act as a toothbrush, scraping plaque from your teeth.
- Avoid dry mouth. Many medications cause your mouth to become dry. This can hurry along tooth loss since the lack of saliva helps bacteria to grow. Saliva also helps to rebuild enamel. Without it, your teeth can become weak. There are special mouthwashes and rinses available to help in protecting you against dry mouth caused by medications.
World Oral Health Day is on March 20th this year. To find out more about caring for your teeth and to understand how your oral health affects your body, click here.