Senior dental care

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:29 pm
No matter what your age, good oral hygiene habits and regular visits to your dentist are important to both your oral and general health. Aging does not necessarily mean that you'll lose your teeth. You could keep all of your adult teeth, or you may require a bridge, implants, or partial or full dentures. Following your dentist's recommended brushing and flossing instructions will help you to avoid the tooth decay and gum disease that many people over the age of 35 experience. Even if you're a denture wearer, you must follow a regimen to clean your dentures and keep your gums healthy. In addition to helping prevent a plaque buildup on your teeth or dentures, regular visits to the dentist will help prevent gum disease and allow your dentist to look for signs of diabetes, cancer, joint disorders, and vitamin deficiencies. As the structure of your mouth is constantly changing, your dentist will also check to ensure that your dentures keep a proper fit. If you have difficulty holding a toothbrush, ask your dentist about items available to help strengthen your grip or lengthen the handle of the brush. Finally, be sure to tell your dentist about any medical conditions that you have or medications that you're taking, since both over-the-counter and prescription medicines can cause discoloring or other oral problems.

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