September is Healthy Aging Month

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  If you think you're too old to reinvent your oral hygiene routine, think again.

Posted: September 4, 2014

healthy aging month september

September marks a great time to brush up on oral health. The annual observance of Healthy Aging Month is designed to give more insight into growing older, encouraging adults ages 50 and older to rethink their health habits and reshape them for the better.

Oral health is a cornerstone of overall health. For the next 15 years, baby boomers will be reaching "retirement age," turning 65 years old at a rate of about 8,000 a day, and as this unique cohort grows older, it's best to understand ways to take care of their smile - something that should never fade over the years.

After all, the importance of a bright, healthy grin should not be overlooked. Problems like dry mouth brought on by medication, hurting gums and chronic bad breath are common dental complaints that should be met with proper dental care.

1. Get rid of dry mouth
If you suffer from dry mouth, you're not alone. Millions of Americans deal with this bothersome condition everyday. Medications are often the cause, as a dry sensation is a common side effect of drugs used to treat pain, allergies, depression, diarrhea, urinary incontinence and Parkinson's disease. When saliva levels in the mouth are too low, you may become susceptible to dental health problems like tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.

To minimize dry mouth, drink water frequently to keep your mouth moist, suck on sugar-free hard candies and chew sugarless gum. During meals, liquid foods like soups, broths and sauces are a good option. Be sure to avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol, as these end up crippling salivary glands even further. 

2. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes during each session
The average American spends less than 50 seconds brushing his or her teeth. A little extra time on the grind gives your smile a fighting chance against bacteria buildup, which can cause a host of problems, from cavities to halitosis. 

3. Floss once a day
Flossing is like the overlooked middle child of the oral hygiene routine, but it's no less important. It complements brushing - while flossing cleans between teeth, using a toothbrush scrubs surfaces of teeth. Don't throw it on the back burner!

4. Watch out for receding gums
Receding gum tissue could be the cause of sensitive teeth. If you've noticed that your teeth have suddenly become unstable when exposed to hot and cold temperatures, your gumline may be pulling away. As gum tissue wears away from teeth, the root of the tooth becomes exposed. Visit your dentist to be diagnosed and treated properly.

5. Schedule a dentist appointment
When was the last time you visited your dental professional? The American Dental Association recommends that adults go to the dentist at least once every six months, so if you haven't in awhile, get out the calendar and lock down a date.

6. Practice good denture care
For older adults, denture cleaning is a staple of good oral hygiene. Make sure to remove and rinse dentures after eating to remove lingering food debris, and clean your mouth with the dentures out. It's a best practice to scrub your dentures at least once a day with a soft-bristled brush and soak them overnight.

7. Stop smoking
If you are a smoker, kick the habit. Smoking, chewing or using tobacco products is closely associated with oral cancer. The risk of oral cancer increases with age - any lesion found on the tongue or mouth needs to be examined. It's never to late to quit smoking.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only.  Always consult your health care professional before beginning any new therapy.

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