Good oral health helps you enjoy life. It lets you: speak clearly; taste, chew, and swallow delicious and nutritious foods; and show your feelings through facial expressions such as smiling.
If you protect your oral health with good oral hygiene practices (brushing and flossing), the odds are in your favor you can keep your teeth for a lifetime. (1)
What Can Adults Do to Maintain Good Oral Health?
You can keep your teeth for your lifetime. Here are some things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth and strong teeth. (2)
- Drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss daily between the teeth to remove dental plaque.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year, even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures.
- Receive professional fluoride varnish treatments twice a year. Fluoride varnish will help in three key areas: preventing tooth decay, relieving sensitivity, and protection again
- Do not use any tobacco products. If you smoke, quit.
- Limit alcoholic drinks.
- If you have diabetes, work to maintain control of the disease. This will decrease risk for other complications, including gum disease. Treating gum disease may help lower your blood sugar level.
- If your medication causes dry mouth, ask your doctor for a different medication that may not cause this condition. If dry mouth cannot be avoided, drink plenty of water, chew sugarless gum, and avoid tobacco products and alcohol.
- See your doctor or a dentist if you have sudden changes in taste and smell.
- When acting as a caregiver, help older individuals brush and floss their teeth if they are not able to perform these activities independently.
- Additionally, children do not develop adequate manual dexterity for proper bushing and flossing until the age of 7.