Oral health touches every aspect of our lives but is often taken for granted. Your mouth is a window into the health of your body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.
Whether you are 80 or 8, your oral health is important. Most Americans today enjoy excellent oral health and are keeping their natural teeth throughout their lives; however, cavities remain the most prevalent chronic disease of childhood. Some 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year, even though regular dental examinations and good oral hygiene can prevent most dental disease. Many people believe that they need to see a dentist only if they are in pain or think something is wrong, but regular dental visits can contribute to a lifetime of good oral health. If you are experiencing dental pain, don’t put off seeing a dentist. With dentistry’s many advances, diagnosis and treatment are more sophisticated and comfortable than ever.
You can practice good oral hygiene by always brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, replacing your toothbrush every three or four months and by eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks. Don’t forget to schedule regular dental check-ups to keep your smile, and yourself, healthy. More information on these and other topics can be found on the American Dental Association’s website: MouthHealthy.org
Adults under 40 years of age
Some people think tooth decay is just for children, but did you know you are at risk your whole life? Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems such as infection, damage to bone or nerve and tooth loss. Dental infections that are left untreated can even spread to other parts of the body and, in very rare cases, can be life threatening.
Dental disease is preventable
The good news is that dental disease is preventable. You can practice preventive dentistry on yourself by adopting these healthy habits: Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day, floss between teeth once a day, eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. And don’t forget to schedule regular dental visits. By following a healthy dental routine and making smart food choices, you can lower your risk for tooth decay. More information on these and other topics can be found on the American Dental Association’s website: MouthHealthy.org
Adults 40-60 years of age
We all know life can be busy, but don’t neglect your oral health. Your dental care is just as important now as it was when you were a kid. Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems such as infection, damage to bone or nerve and tooth loss. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and see your dentist regularly. This simple routine can help you remain Mouth Healthy for Life.
Did you know that the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth? If you are missing one or more teeth, there are plenty of reasons to correct the problem. Talk to your dentist for more information about improving your smile. More information on these and other topics can be found on the American Dental Association’s website: MouthHealthy.org
Adults 60 years of age and above
Just 60 years ago, it was an assumption that as we age we would lose our natural teeth. But, that’s not the case for today’s older adults who are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before. A healthy mouth and teeth help you look good, eat delicious and nutritious foods, and speak clearly and confidently. Being mouth healthy is essential for good quality of life.
Your mouth is the gateway to your body
Maintaining good oral health habits now is especially important because unhealthy bacteria in the mouth not only can harm your teeth and gums but may be associated with serious medical conditions. Research has shown that infections in the mouth may be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and other health problems that are common in older adults. It really only takes a few simple steps, brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist regularly and eating nutritious foods to be Mouth Healthy for Life. More information on these and other topics can be found on the American Dental Association’s website: MouthHealthy.org
Babies and Kids
Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits early can lead to a lifelong healthy smile, but did you know that just because babies don’t have any visible teeth, doesn’t mean they can’t get cavities? A baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth. And those baby teeth that begin coming through the gums around 6 months help set the stage for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for adult teeth.
When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That’s why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come. The ADA recommends that parents take children to a dentist no later than their first birthday and then at intervals recommended by their dentist. More information on these and other topics can be found on the American Dental Association’s website: MouthHealthy.org