“You’re not healthy without good oral health” (US Surgeon General Koop)
Do you want to feel good, stay healthy and look great throughout life? You might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes. By adopting healthy habits at home, making better choices about diet and lifestyle and seeking regular professional dental care, many older adults are keeping their teeth, staying healthier and looking better than ever.
The Mouth/Body Connection
Did you know that an unhealthy mouth worsens serious medical problems, such as, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis? Medical studies make it clear that a healthy mouth means a healthy body and visa/versa. Your teeth are important for speaking, chewing, digestion, smiling and your overall appearance. And your teeth are never too old to be repaired or replaced. If you don’t maintain your natural teeth or replace the teeth that are lost, your overall health will suffer. There is a connection between a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Bleeding gums, receding gums, or sensitive and loose teeth are not normal at any age.
Adding Power to the Chewing System
If you’ve lost all or some of your natural teeth, your dentist can make removable dentures, partials or bridges, but they aren’t the only way to replace teeth anymore. Dental implants are an option that many older adults are choosing to increase their chewing power to help them eat right, feel better and look great. A conventional denture that is not supported by implants replaces only 10-20% of your chewing power, while an implant supported denture can increase your ability to chew up to 75-80%.
Prevention is Key!
Brush your teeth two-three times/day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush or electric toothbrush. Clean in between your teeth with floss or other interdental cleaner daily. Talk to your dentist about what oral hygiene products work best for your teeth and gums. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease no matter how old you are. Finally, visit your dentist every 3-6 months for a complete dental check up that includes an oral cancer exam whether you have your full compliment of teeth or not.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Colleen S. Carter, D.D.S.. Dr. Carter is an advanced restorative dentist and may be reached at 303-765-2824 or email@example.com and on the web atwww.drcartersmiles.com