Wellness

Enjoy Healthy Teeth and Gums as You Age

How many of your own natural teeth do you want to have when you are older? The quality of your oral health when you’re a senior citizen is influenced strongly by the care you gave your teeth as a child. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), kids with damaged teeth may experience a lifetime of tooth and gum problems.

It wasn’t that long ago that when people had a toothache, they had the tooth pulled. But advancements in dental care have changed dramatically our understanding of how regular dental care can make a difference in maintaining good oral health for life.

Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums

The process for enjoying great oral health is easy! The ADA provides these tips:

  • Daily brushing – It’s important to remove plaque that collects on your teeth when you consume foods:
    • Brush all your teeth at least twice a day, such as after breakfast and before bedtime
    • Whenever possible, brush after lunch and intake of sweet snacks
    • Continually brush your teeth for at least two to three minutes each time; use a timer to help monitor how long to brush
    • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth to easily access all of your teeth
    • Brush your tongue to remove food particles and to keep your breath fresh
  • Daily flossing – An important tool to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, flossing all of your teeth at least once daily will help to remove plaque and food between your teeth and under the gum line
  • Mouth rinse – Use a non-alcoholic mouth rinse after brushing and flossing to freshen your breath and wash out any remaining food debris
  • Schedule dental checkups and cleanings – Visit your dentist at least once or twice each year, according to the recommended schedule provided by the dental office
  • Consume nutritious foods – Eat foods from all the food groups; drink water throughout the day, especially after meals, to remove food particles and hydrate your mouth; limit between-meal snacks, especially sweets and sticky treats

Remember this great rule of thumb: You don’t need to take care of all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!

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