Taking good care of your teeth is an important part of maintaining your oral health. Developing good oral health care habits will help your natural teeth stay strong and healthy and can avoid tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Many people take their oral health for granted, but despite being very preventable, oral health problems are widespread throughout the U.S.
About half of all children suffer from tooth decay as do many adults. In addition, about ten percent of adults suffer from gum disease that can destroy gum tissue and bone causing painful loose teeth that makes chewing difficult. Gum disease ultimately leads to tooth loss and has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Tooth loss in older adults is a serious problem. About one quarter of Americans aged 65 and older have lost all of their natural teeth and about 40 percent have lost six or more teeth. Tooth loss leads to poor diet, loss of jaw bone, and lower overall health.
Most older Americans with full or partial tooth loss rely on dentures to replace their missing teeth, but many denture wearers have trouble eating properly, learning to speak, and have reduced confidence levels due to loose or slipping dentures. Tooth implants are a better alternative because they are as stable and strong as natural teeth and also stop bone loss, but the initial cost of implants can be expensive.
You can avoid the hassle of dealing with dentures later in life or the expense of tooth implants by taking good care of your teeth. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and checkups will go a long way toward keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
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