Healthy teeth and gums are the real beauty of your face. If you have healthy teeth then you can eat well and enjoy good food. Several things are responsible for health of your mouth, but good care should keep your teeth and gums healthy as your age.

Tooth Decay

Teeth are covered with hard outer coating called enamel. Dental Plaque (thin film of bacteria)builds on your teeth every day. This plaque produces acids that is harmful for enamel and become the cause of cavity. Brushing and flossing can prevent decay but if cavity is formed, you need to go to dentist to fix cavity with a filling.

Dental Care

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Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth from decay. If you have dry mouth because of medicines you take, you might need more fluoride. In this condition you must go to your dentist which can fluoride treatment or tell you to use fluoride gel or mouth rinse at home.

Gum Disease

When plaque builds up under gum line, gum diseases begins. Plaque causes infection in gum bone. This may cause red gums and bleeding gums. This is called gingivitis, and can be fixed by brushing and flossing every day.

In case of periodontitis, you must go to your dentist and take treatment. If not treated, periodontitis infection can lead to sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing problems, and even tooth loss.

How to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss regularly.
  • Visit your dentist routinely for a checkup and cleaning.
  • Tell the dentist about any medical conditions you have and medications you take.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease.

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How to Clean Your Teeth and Gums

There is a right way to brush and floss your teeth. Every day:

  • Gently brush your teeth on all sides with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Use small circular motions and short back-and-forth strokes.
  • Brush carefully and gently along your gum line.
  • Lightly brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper to help keep your mouth clean.
  • Clean between your teeth with dental floss, prethreaded flossers, a water flosser, or a similar product. This
  • removes plaque and leftover food that a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Rinse after you floss.

See your dentist if brushing or flossing causes your gums to bleed or hurts your mouth. If you have trouble flossing, a floss holder may help. Ask your dentist to show you the right way to floss.

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Dry Mouth

Dry mouth happens when you don’t have enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. It can make it hard to eat, swallow, taste, and even speak. Dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay, fungal infections of the mouth, and cavities. Many common medicines can cause this problem.

There are things you can do that may help. Try sipping water or sugarless drinks. Don’t smoke, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices. Avoid spicy or salty foods.

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Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can start in any part of the mouth or throat, including the tongue. It is more likely to happen in people over age 40.

You can lower your risk of getting oral cancer in a few ways:

  • Do not use tobacco products, such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes, or cigars.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.
  • Use lip balm with sunscreen.
  • Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are relatively new, and scientists are still learning about their long-term health effects. However, we do know e-cigarette vapor contains cancer-causing chemicals.

Finding Low-Cost Dental Care

Dental care can be costly. Medicare does not cover routine dental care. You may want to check out private dental insurance for older people. Make sure you are aware of the cost and what services are covered.

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