According to Delta Dental, September is National Healthy Aging Month. In honor of the annual campaign, we wanted to focus this blog on how to take care of your teeth as you age. Unfortunately, as with the rest of the body, the mouth, teeth, tongue, and gums deteriorate with age. Fortunately, however, you can take proactive steps to ward off the effects of aging. In fact, with the right approach, your oral health at age 70 could best someone who is in their 20s.
Tips for Keeping Your Mouth Healthy & Strong at Any Age
Brush at least twice a day.
Most dentists (including me) believe you should brush your teeth at least twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. This is important because plaque forms at night and goes mostly undisturbed. Most dentists (including me) recommend brushing after each meal. So, if you eat multiple times each day, you should follow each meal up with a 2-minute toothbrushing session. Although dentists differ in their opinion about whether it’s better to brush as soon as you wake up rather than after breakfast, most of us would argue the important thing is that you faithfully and carefully brush. And don’t forget to invest in fluoride-filled toothpaste. The jury is still out relative to whether manual or electric toothbrushes are best. My own opinion? The best brush is whichever one you will most faithfully use!
People joke that they lie to their dental hygienists about their personal flossing habits. Heaven knows why, since any dental health professional worth his salt can tell whether a patient uses dental floss based on the condition of their teeth. That said, if you hate to use dental floss, pick up a packet of plastic single-use tools to floss. Or you could purchase a WaterPik. These tools are relatively equal in terms of the type of cleaning power they deliver. As to whether you should select waxed or unwaxed varieties, let yourself go wild. Whichever type you prefer is the one you should select.
Eat nutritious food.
At every age, nutrition matters. You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” We could take that a step further and say your teeth are what you eat. The American Dental Association asserts the following:
“A bidirectional relationship exists between oral health and diet and nutrition. The consumption of sugars has been associated with an increased risk of developing dental caries (sic). The complex nature of periodontal disease makes it difficult to determine its relationship with diet and nutrition. Frequent consumption of acidic food and beverages is associated with an increased risk of erosive tooth wear.”
Keep dental appointments
This is even more important during COVID-19, since so many patients skipped their annual checkups and cleaning appointments. This is unfortunate, since delayed dental care often results in poor outcomes. However, if you skipped appointments during the lockdowns in 2020, make up for it by scheduling an appointment with Dr Fred Wong today by calling (626) 852-6999.
If you smoke, quit. If you don’t, never start!
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have this to say:
“Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ system of the body. It is the leading cause of preventable death. Learn the facts about diseases and conditions associated with smoking.”
Happy National Healthy Aging Month from all of us at Blue Ocean Dentistry!
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.