Do thoughts of dentures make you want to squirm? Having flashbacks of your grandparents taking their teeth out at night? If you would rather leave the fake teeth to your grandkid’s Halloween costume, start taking care of your teeth now!
The good news is, these days, the majority of baby boomers will maintain their natural teeth over their lifetime. Fluoride seems to be key. It is in water, toothpaste and other products and has helped reduce tooth decay for people of all ages. The substantial decrease in people over 65 who have lost all their teeth can be attributed to fluoridation.
However, to keep a mouthful of natural teeth in your golden years, you’ve got to have good oral hygiene habits decades beforehand. Of course, you know to floss and brush your teeth twice a day, but you must also see your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and cleanings.
Seeing your dentist involves a comprehensive oral exam that goes beyond your teeth. Dentists screen for oral cancer, side effects of medication, diabetes and more. Also, even if you think you are doing a great job at brushing and flossing, any plaque that you miss with daily brushing and flossing hardens into tarter. Only a dental professional can remove the tarter. If not removed, it can not only lead to cavities, but also gum disease. Gum disease is tied to increased risk of heart disease and other health issues.
Despite the importance of dental visits, many Americans avoid the dentist. Dental phobias are not uncommon. If your anxiety is keeping you from seeing the dentist, keep following our blog. We’ll soon post tips on how to overcome your fears.
Avoiding dentures has huge implications that go far beyond dental health. So after you blow out those candles—no matter what age you are—don’t stop taking care of your teeth. Brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups should remain a part of your life throughout the years.