Proper oral care and hygiene is the only way to keep a healthy, attractive smile through adulthood. Cavities and gum disease are a significant threat to adults that can lead to more serious health problems later on. No matter how old you are, it is important to maintain a healthy routine for your teeth and gums each and every day.
Brush twice daily with a CDA approved fluoride toothpaste to break up and remove the plaque that forms on your teeth every day. Plaque is the main cause of cavities. Floss once daily to get the plaque out from between your teeth and under your gum line. When plaque sits too long, it hardens into tartar, which is much harder to remove.
Avoid or limit sugar and starch from your diet. The more of these foods you eat, the more plaque will form. Certain foods like apples and most vegetables can help remove plaque as you chew. Opt to snack on these for healthier teeth. And visit your dentist regularly (at least twice per year) for cleanings and checkups.
Even when you brush and floss properly you will face dental health challenges as an adult. Your dentist will be able to spot potential problems before they become serious issues if you go in for regular visits.
Gum disease is a common problem for many adults. It starts out as gingivitis, which is fairly easy to reverse if it is detected early. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush them. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist before serious problems develop. Advanced stages of gum disease may lead to tooth loss.
Your gum health can affect your overall health. There have been studies proving that there is a link between periodontitis and diseases like diabetes and heart disease. There are also studies that suggest links to many other serious illnesses – these are being further studied. To prevent gum disease from getting started in the first place, be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and schedule professional cleanings every six months.
You are more likely to get cavities as you age. This is due to many factors but one of the biggest is the natural recession of your gums as you grow older. More of your tooth gets exposed and so is more likely to decay. Tooth sensitivity also expands as you age for the same reason. In severe cases, cold air, as well as sensitivity to sour and sweet drinks and foods, can occur. If you experience sensitivity, try anti-sensitivity toothpaste. If these problem persists, see your dentist, as the sensitivity may be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a cavity or a cracked or fractured tooth.