While your risk for certain oral health conditions increases as you get older, losing teeth isn’t a natural part of the aging process. Your teeth are meant to last as long as you live!
Taking care of your smile is important at every age. How can you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile throughout your lifetime? Let’s talk about a few tips that will keep your smile bright and healthy!
Brush and Floss Every Day
Home care habits are going to be a vital part of keeping your smile free of cavities and tooth decay as you age. Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush a minimum of 30 minutes after eating can protect your tooth enamel and keep your smile free of decay.
On the other hand, you only need to floss once per day for best results. Choose a kind you enjoy that gets you motivated to keep up with this important oral care habit!
Eat a Healthy Diet
Foods play a huge role in your oral health. Added sugars, processed foods such as white flour, potato chips, and soda all have the potential to harm your tooth enamel and contribute to not just tooth decay, but tooth sensitivity as well.
Whole foods rich in the nutrients your teeth need to stay healthy including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C can keep your smile strong for the years ahead. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink water, and enjoy lean protein for a healthy diet .
Manage Your Risk for Gum Disease
Gum disease is a progressive oral health condition in which bacteria from plaque cause inflammation, redness, and bleeding near your gumline. If left untreated, gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Your risk for gum disease increases as you age. About 68 percent of adults aged 65 years or older have gum disease !
Brushing and flossing can help prevent gum disease, but so can regular dental visits to screen for the condition and remove traces of plaque from your smile.
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth isn’t a normal part of aging, but can happen due to medications, chronic dehydration, or other health conditions such as diabetes or certain autoimmune disorders.
Saliva protects your teeth and helps supply them with calcium and phosphate to keep them strong . When you constantly have dry mouth, your teeth are more at risk to experience damage such as tooth decay and fungal infections.
Visit Your Dentist
Regular dental appointments are an instrumental part of keeping your smile healthy. You should aim to visit your dentist at least once a year, or as recommended by your dentist. Your dentist can screen for gum disease, cavities, and oral cancer.
Oral cancer typically takes years to develop. Most patients are 55 or older by the time the cancer is detected . Oral cancer is easier to treat when caught early, so ask your dentist about a screening at your next visit.
By following the above tips, you can keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. Enjoy your teeth for as long as possible with the right lifestyle habits, brushing and flossing, and support from your oral healthcare professional!