We are all getting older. That is just a fact that cannot be denied. The American population is also getting older. In fact, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the population of Americans older than 65 years is expected to double to about 71 million by 2040. And, the population of Americans older than 85 years is expected to increase to 9.6 million by 2030. As Americans are living longer and longer, our teeth are expected to last longer too. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Your oral health at any age is integral to your overall health. This is true whether you are a child, teenager or senior citizen. Failing or missing teeth can contribute to a variety of other serious health problems including poor nutrition, overweight, obesity and related disorders. If your teeth are not fully functional and you are not able to adequately chew and digest a wide variety of foods, your diet and therefore your overall health will suffer.
This is not good news for the many older Americans who are missing one or more of their teeth. In fact, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-fourth of persons age 65 and older have no remaining teeth. Nearly one-third of older adults have untreated tooth decay. So how can you prevent this from happening to you?
Preventing failing or missing teeth when you are older requires developing and implementing healthy habits when you are young. If you want to keep your teeth for a lifetime, you have to take care of them throughout your life. This highlights the importance of educating children about good oral hygiene. It also highlights the importance of receiving regular dental care throughout all the different stages of your life. Many times, young professionals and busy parents prioritize their dental care behind other things such as their work, their family and their children’s dental care. This is not a good idea and can really come back to haunt you in the future. Taking care of your teeth today by visiting your dentist regularly and practicing good daily oral hygiene can help you avoid costly and painful dental problems in the future.
If you want to increase your chances of keeping your teeth for a lifetime, you better start taking care of them today. If you have been neglecting your dental health, call and schedule an appointment with your dentist today. Someday, when you are much older, you will be glad you did!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria