Young Adults (20-35 years)
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.
- 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.
Make healthy dietary choices like dairy, vegetables, fruits and proteins.
- Young adults this age often let healthy eating fall by the wayside. Eating out and drinking soda - even diet soda - will take a toll on your teeth over time. Take steps to temper the bad habits.
- 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.
Don't engage in behaviors such as smoking or excessively drinking alcohol.
- While moderate alcohol consumption can have minor health benefits, excessive drinking can adversely affect oral health and overall health.
- In the short term, drinking too much alcohol can result in dry mouth and bad breath.
- A lifetime of consuming alcohol has been linked to a significantly grater risk for oral cancer.
- Smoking has been identified as one of the most significant causes of periodontal disease in the U.S.
- Smoking increases the risk of oral cancer and contributes to yellowing of the teeth.
Women, be extra aware of oral health changes during pregnancy.
Like the rest of your body, your mouth experiences changes during pregnancy that require the guidance of a health care professional. Learn more on how to care for yourself and the health of your baby.
Men, maintain your good oral habits.
Studies show that men are less likely than women to take care of their health in general - and oral health even less. Good oral health is linked to longevity and men are less likely to visit a dentist for regular preventive care, often only visiting a dentist when a problem arises. Read more about men's oral health.