The importance of dental hygiene for older adults

March 20 is World Oral Health Day. Will you celebrate with us by learning about dental hygiene?

Most people would agree that brushing your teeth, flossing, and going to the dentist are good things. But why? Dental hygienist Leslie Scott-Smith shares how oral health and proper dental hygiene can actually improve three other areas of life beyond having a great smile.

  1. Dental hygiene prevents sickness and disease.

Gum disease. Periodontal disease. Pneumonia. Strokes. Heart disease. Pancreatic cancer. Diabetes. The chances of getting one of these ailments or diseases can be lowered by simply taking care of your mouth.

Think about it: the mouth is the gateway to the body. And, studies have shown that bacteria in the mouth has been linked to the sicknesses listed above. Having good dental hygiene habits and visiting the dentist regularly can keep bacteria out of your bloodstream and lungs.

  1. Dental hygiene prevents speech problems.

Our tongues work together with the rest of the mouth to produce sounds, form words, and communicate with others. Missing teeth or loose dentures can affect speech, making communication difficult or causing individuals to become self-conscious. Ensuring the mouth is being properly cared for, including the tongue and roof of the mouth, can prevent these problems.

If this is already something you may be experiencing a dentist can help you find solutions.

  1. Dental hygiene prevents malnutrition.

What are some of your favorite healthy foods? Maybe you thought of apples, carrots, or grilled chicken. Most of these foods are hard to eat without healthy teeth or properly fitting dentures.

In general, eating well is a significant part of holistic health. When it’s hard to eat nutritious foods, your body doesn’t get the vitamins and nourishment it needs to be function effectively. Taking proactive steps to promote your oral health can prevent challenges later.

Oral health truly affects overall health. Having routine dental visits, having oral cancer screenings, and caring for your mouth daily by brushing and flossing can help you be the best you.

Topics: Featured, Tips for Seniors

Leslie Scott-Smith, dental hygienist

Written by Leslie Scott-Smith, dental hygienist

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