Healthy Dental Habits

Oral hygiene becomes even more important as we age. While many people seem to think tooth loss is an inevitable part of aging, practicing healthy habits can help prevent this. Regular dentist visits are one of the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy as you get older. Because the nerves in the teeth contract with age, teeth become unable to sense cavities and other dental issues. If you attend your regular check-up, however, your dentist can catch these issues before they worsen. Between dentist visits, there are a number of things you can do to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free. You should always brush your teeth twice a day. Ideally, you should use a brush with soft, pliant bristles. An electric toothbrush may also be beneficial. Flossing is also important. Use floss once a day to remove tartar and build up from between your teeth. If your tap water contains fluoride, it’s also a great way to maintain healthy teeth. Drink eight glasses a day to prevent unwanted tooth...

Does an electric toothbrush do a better job that a manual toothbrush?

A manual toothbrush can do the job well. An electric toothbrush, though, can be particularly helpful if you have arthritis or other ailments that may make it difficult to brush your teeth. The bristle movement from an electric toothbrush may not only improve gum health but also do a better job removing plaque from your teeth. Should you choose to go the route of an electric toothbrush, the toothbrush should be both comfortable and easy to use. Most dentists suggest an electric toothbrush that features a rotating-oscillating head or uses ultrasonic pulses to move its bristles. Optional features include timers, adjustable power levels and batteries that are rechargeable. When you need to replace the head, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure it continues working effectively. However, keep in mind that the style of toothbrush you choose isn’t what’s most important, but rather that you brush and floss...

ADA Shows Benefits of Water Fluoridation

The American Dental Association has recently provided five reasons why fluoride in the nation’s water supply is good for communities. These reasons are: 1. Prevention of tooth decay. A simple and effective way to prevent tooth decay, which is one of the most common diseases in childhood, is fluoride in water. Children in communities with water fluoridation are less likely to need dental surgery due to tooth decay. 2. Helps prevent cavities at all ages. Various studies have shown that fluoride in public water systems results in a reduction of tooth decay by over 25 percent in children and adults. 3. Fluoride in water is safe. The top scientific studies done in the past 70 years all show that community water fluoridation doesn’t cause any health and safety hazards. 4. Helps save money. If rates of dental disease in a community are high, taxes and health insurance premiums go up. 5. Fluoride is natural. Both the oceans and groundwater already contain fluoride. Water fluoridation simply consists of adjusting the levels so that it can be more effective at fighting tooth...

Your Diet and Healthy Gums and Teeth

Water plays an integral role in physical and mental health, but did you know it is good for your oral health too? According to the American Dental Association, fluoride, now available in 75% of the American water supply, makes teeth more resistant to the acidic process that causes cavities. Other foods that support good dental health include: Milk and dairy products that are low in sugar but contain calcium and protein help build strong teeth. Foods rich in phosphorus, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs and milk, also contain protein and support the formation of strong enamel. Fruits and vegetables contain significant amounts of water and fiber, in addition to balancing sugar in the diet. Chewing fruits and veggies promotes the production of saliva and cleanses the mouth of harmful acids and residue. Nuts are high in protein and also promote healthy chewing action. Eating a balanced diet not only keeps you healthy. It prevents gum disease, reduces decay and strengthens...

Tooth Loss May Cause Cognitive and Physical Decline Later In Life

The loss of teeth in adults has recently been shown to be an indicator of physical and cognitive decline in many aging citizens. This finding is according to a study performed by the University College London and was featured in the January issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study followed 3,166 aging citizens in England who greater than 60 years of age. Those studied who suffered from complete tooth loss were more likely to have a diminution in walking ability and memory than those studied who still had some teeth. The study has shown that these individuals who have experienced complete tooth loss have an approximately 10 percent greater decline in both walking ability and memory as compared to the individuals who still have teeth. Factors such as physical health of the individuals being studied and socioeconomic status were weighed in the study, and did not significantly affect findings. The study also showed that there is a stronger link between physical ability and memory 10 years after tooth loss in individuals between the ages of 60 and 74, than in individuals older than 75. Dr. Georgios Tsakos, the leading author who performed the tooth loss study, states the study suggests that physicians may be better able to identify individuals who are more susceptible to physical ability and mental health decline by paying closer attention to their oral...

Dental Health Habits for Senior Citizens

Being a senior citizen does not mean you need to accept as inevitable losing your natural teeth. Nearly 75 percent of seniors today have retained most, if not all, of their natural teeth. Modern dental technologies have improved the chances for individuals to live their entire lives with a full set of natural teeth. In recognition of May’s National Older Americans Month, the Pennsylvania Dental Association wants to remind senior citizens of the importance of maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine. When followed, thesetips can help everyone improve and sustain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime: — Floss once a day to remove food particles and bacteria from between teeth and under gums. — Brush all teeth surfaces and the tongue twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush. — Have dental checkups and cleanings every six months. — Tell your dentist about all current prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. — Tell your dentist about any dry mouth problems. When not treated, a constant dry mouth can contribute to cavities, gingivitis or other dental infections. — Clean dentures after meals and before going to bed. Inform the dentist of any gum irritations or sores as soon as possible. — Avoid foods and beverages with sugar and eat a healthy diet from the five major food groups. — Limit or avoid use of alcohol and tobacco. There is an increased risk of gum disease and oral cancer associated with alcohol and...