A common belief associated with aging is the expectation of losing your natural teeth. Seniors, fret not—today, approximately 75 percent of people over age 65 have kept some or all of their natural teeth.
May is National Older Americans Month, and despite the growing percentage of seniors retaining their teeth, it is vital your oral health is not overlooked as you age. For this reason, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is stressing the importance of practicing proper oral health care at any age. A lifelong dedication to these good habits can help ensure healthy smiles for a lifetime.
- Brush all tooth surfaces, including the backs of teeth and your tongue, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss once a day to remove particles of food that get stuck between your teeth and under your gums.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.
- Bring a list of current medications to your dentist appointments, including those that are over-the-counter, and let your dentist know if you are taking any new medications.
- Eat a balanced diet from the five major food groups, and avoid sugary foods and beverages.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol use. Among other things, tobacco and alcohol greatly increase the risk of periodontal (gum) disease and oral cancer.
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SOURCE: Pennsylvania Dental Association