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

— 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 tobacco.

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