Dental Care for Adults
Take care of yourself even when you're busy taking care of others. Take steps now to ensure your mouth and teeth stay healthy as you age.
Continue to see your dentist on a regular basis
- Maintain your good oral health habits, like brushing twice a day and flossing once daily.
- Continuing with regular dental appointments is essential to good oral health and can also save you money. Seeing your dentist helps ensure that problems will be addressed before they become more serious - and more expensive.
Learn how to manage your stress levels
- Keep stress levels down with healthy eating, deep breathing and plenty of sleep and exercise. Learn more about managing your stress levels.
- Stress induces the hormone cortisol, which harms teeth and gums - and can contribute to gum disease. High stress levels can also lead to canker sores, burning mouth syndrome and cold sores.
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome, a condition characterized by pain in the jaw and sometimes accompanied by nighttime tooth grinding can result due to stress. Your dentist can fit you for a night guard (occlusal guard) to ward against sleep-grinding.
Be aware of your oral cancer risk and get regular screenings
- The number of people suffering from oral cancer increases after the age of 35.
- Oral cancer affects twice as many men as women.
- Overall, 60 percent of people with oral cancer survive five years. Diagnosing oral cancer at an early stage significantly increases the five-year survival rate.
- Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers - which is just one of the many reasons to never start. All forms of tobacco (cigarettes, e-cigarettes (vaping), cigars, and smokeless) are associated with general health risks, including oral health. Read more.
- Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of oral cancer.
- Lots of sun exposure, especially if a lip balm containing SPF is not used, places people at higher risk for lip cancer.
- A history of human papillomavirus (HPV). Certain HPV viruses have been linked to some oral cancers. Currently, 20-30 percent of all oral cancer is associated with an HPV infection.
Know that gum disease has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.
Make healthy dietary choices like dairy, vegetables, fruits, and proteins
- Limit soft drinks in favor of water or milk to keep harmful acids from causing enamel loss.
- Drink more fluoridated water to stay hydrated and protect against tooth decay.
- Keep starchy and sugary snacks to a minimum. Eat fruits, cheeses, nuts, and veggies to help keep cavities at bay.
Oral Health Tips for Men and Women
- Extra calcium is needed to keep your teeth and bones strong.
- Second only to adolescents, women ages 51 and older need the most calcium - 1,200 mg per day.
- Be extra aware of oral health changes during pregnancy and menopause.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy, approaching and in menopause can affect a woman's oral health.
- It is essential that men continue to care for their smile by practicing preventive dental care.