Dental Health Keeps ImprovingTuesday, August 7th, 2012, 7:37 pm
The good news is that dental health for most Americans has improved greatly over the past several decades. The bad news is that we still have a long way to go to stop tooth loss from entirely preventable conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease.
For example, in 1960 the average 65 year old had an average of 7 teeth (of course most people didn’t last until age 65). Today the average 65 year old is alive, active and has about 17 teeth. Going even further into the future, if someone who is 65 today lives to age 85 they will probably still have 24 of their original 32 teeth! These numbers show us two things – educational efforts about caring for your smile have reached a lot of people and more importantly, did you notice that the 85 year old would have more teeth than the average 65 year old today. How can that be? Simple, good oral health translates to better overall health so those people with healthy smiles will live longer than those with poor oral health.
What can you do to make sure you keep as many of your original teeth as possible? Prevention, prevention, prevention.
- Brush for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss all of your teeth every single day
- Visit the dentist for regular check-ups and professional dental cleanings
Will these things guarantee everyone a healthy smile? Unfortunately, just as our oral health affects the rest of our body, other diseases can affect our oral health.
For example, diabetic patients have a much greater risk of developing gum disease. Some diseases and many medications can cause dry mouth which increases the risk for both gum disease and serious tooth decay. Eating disorders and heavy consumption of acidic beverages can damage tooth enamel leading to cavities. If any of these affect you then you need to be especially diligent about your home care and make sure you share all medical information with your dentist. Working together we can protect your smile.
For more information about preventative care please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439. We’ll be happy to schedule your next checkup and get you on the road to a healthy smile.