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Don’t Brush Off Dental Care

Your Teeth don’t Retire

woman wearing glasses holding a toothbrush and toothpaste

Taking care of your teeth can help them last a lifetime – and go a long way in maintaining total body health, as well. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy smile, well into retirement:

Brush at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth regularly is important in all stages of life. Brushing helps remove the thin film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth each day and contributes to tooth decay. You should brush your teeth for two to three minutes with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day. If you can brush after each meal, that’s even better.

Floss daily to take care of your gums. Many people don’t realize how important it is to take care of their gums as well as their teeth. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Recent research has shown that the health of your gums may have a connection to some chronic diseases. Having periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to and may be a risk factor in developing Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease or diabetes. Make sure to floss at least once a day, preferably before bed, to clean the places where a toothbrush can’t reach.

Eat nutritious food. What you eat can help you keep your teeth healthy. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums.

Keep up with dentist appointments. Dentists are disease detectives. More than 120 signs and symptoms of non dental diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, can be detected through a routine oral health exam. So, seeing a dentist regularly not only helps to keep your mouth in top shape, but also allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues.

If you smoke, quit. In addition to increasing your risk of many health conditions, smoking can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The good news is that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking. To help you kick the habit, your dentist may prescribe a variety of nicotine replacement therapies.

So remember: Follow these tips to keep you smiling. For more resources on oral health care, as well as individual and family dental plans, visit


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