Brush and Floss Daily
Brushing and flossing your teeth is still very important. Risk of cavities increases with age, one of the reasons is dry mouth—a common side effect of many prescription medications.
Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head to get to those hard to reach areas.
Clean Dentures Daily
Bacteria stick to your teeth and also to full or partial dentures. If you wear dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis with cleaners made specifically for dentures. Do not use toothpastes for natural teeth or household cleaners, which are too abrasive and can damage dentures that can be expensive to replace. Take your dentures out of your mouth for a least four hours every 24 hours to keep the soft and gingival tissues of your mouth healthy.
Visit a Dentist Regularly
Get regular dental checkups at least once a year – do not wait until you have pain. As you age, the nerves inside your teeth constrict and
can decrease in sensitivity. By the time you feel pain from a cavity, it may be too late and you may need root canal therapy or lose your tooth. There are also more serious conditions that your dentist will look for, like oral cancer and gum disease, which do not always cause pain until the advanced stages of the disease. By then, it’s more difficult and costly to treat.
Drink Water with Fluoride
No matter what age you are, drinking water with fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter. Many community water systems contain added fluoride, but if you prefer bottled water, check the label because some do not contain fluoride. And, some home water filters remove fluoride from the tap water.
It’s never too late to quit smoking. Smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. It also slows down healing after dental procedures and can decrease the success rate of dental implants.
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