Take Care of Your Teeth As You Age

  • Take Care of Your Teeth As You Age


    Now that I am in Tampa, Florida for at least 3 more months, I am working with seniors conducting in-home health seminars and workshops and have a series of books that caters to them. Many seniors want me to spread this message to my audience about saving your teeth.


    What is the first thing that you notice about someone that you meet?...THEIR TEETH... Remember your teeth are suppose to last your entire life, but many seniors and others have had to give up foods that can keep them healthy because they can no longer eat these foods because they are missing their teeth.


    Taking care of your teeth include:

    • Brush at least twice a day (longer than 2 minutes)
    • Use a soft toothbrush
    • Use fluoride toothpaste
    • Floss teeth at least once a day
    • Rinse month after eating if unable to brush
    • Use anti-plaque mouthwash if unable to brush
    • Avoid high-sugar foods
    • Have a dental cleaning/exam every six months
    • See a dentist every two to three years if you have dentures
    • Remind your dentist you have diabetes

    Toothbrush Storage Tips

    Toothpaste is available in paste, gel, or powder form. For my teeth I use natural toothpaste from health food stores and aluminum free baking soda. Every toilet flush sends a spray of bacteria into the air so don't store your toothbrush near your toilet. Once you've moved your toothbrush away from the toilet, don't forget to:

    • Wash off your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it.
    • Bacteria love a moist environment so make sure your toothbrush has a chance to dry thoroughly between brushings. Avoid using toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.
    • Store your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down.
    • Never, ever share toothbrushes.  

    Over 70% of people (3 out of 4 persons) are suffering from periodontal disease. Gingivitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end -- if not properly treated -- with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.


    Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and research has found that bacteria that grows in the oral cavity can cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, blood cancers, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases.


    To get implants or bridges versus dentures, will cost around $2,000. Unless you pay good money for your dentures, they will usually make your mouth or face look altered or sunk in as you age. 


    Seniors, and others, who have lost their front teeth and can't afford to get them fixed, sink into depression and instead of getting out and enjoying their Golden Years, they become shut-ins. It's a sad, sad, state of affairs for seniors so it's extremely important to take care of your entire body as you age by performing good oral hygiene, eating good food (organic without chemicals), exercising and getting enough sleep.

    Cathy Harris is the author of "Golden Years: How To Age Gracefully and Take Care of Seniors

    (now available as an e-book and coming soon as paperback).


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