Monday, March 28, 2016

Your Aging Smile!

The term "Baby Boomer" is one that you may not have given much serious thought. However, if you are one of the 76 million "babies" who were born between 1945 and 1964, don't forget that your teeth are aging too!

In the not so distant past, reaching retirement age was associated with losing your natural teeth. Thankfully, older adults in the U.S. are keeping close tabs on their dental health and holding on to their pearly whites longer than ever! In addition to sporting a glistening smile, maintaining excellent dental hygiene as we age is vital for achieving optimal physical well-being. Having strong teeth is important for enjoying nutritious, natural snacks such as raw fresh fruits and veggies, plus nuts and whole grains. An intact smile is also a huge confidence booster!

Especially in the case of older adults, the mouth is the gateway to the body. That means that it is so important to maintain excellent oral hygiene habits in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Failing to keep up with your dental hygiene routine can evolve into serious medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia and stroke. To repeat a slogan from the American Dental Association, being "Mouth Healthy for Life" means addressing your dental care routine on a diligent basis.

If you are an older adult, here are the steps you should be taking every day:

  • Brushing - Use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Brush at least two times a day. Remember to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Here's a great little video on proper brushing technique, just in case you need a refresher.
  • Flossing - Do this daily to remove tooth decay causing bacteria and food particles that ordinary brushing may miss. Flossing helps to get rid of plaque and tiny bits of food that become trapped below the gum line. If you experience pain or bleeding when flossing, please let your dentist know so that he or she may investigate to ensure there is not a serious problem. Go the extra mile by using a tongue scraper and a dental rinse!
  • Eating right - Limit sugary foods and beverages. Opt for fresh fruits, veggies, lean dairy and protein plus whole grains, legumes and nuts. Avoid snacking in between meals and make water your #1 beverage of choice.
  • Dental visits - Please schedule regular appointments for cleaning and oral exams. 

These are the keys for keeping your teeth for years to come along with a beautiful smile and healthy gums!

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