Oral Healthcare Tips for Adults
January 14, 2019
By Eugenia P. Roberts, D.D.S
Maintaining good oral health throughout the adult life is crucial, and the choices of oral health products can seem complicated. Achieving a healthy mouth takes not only the correct brushing and flossing techniques (which never go out of style), but also requires healthy nutrition, proper hydration, and professional dental care.
Oral health reflects the health of the body, so the mouth also requires plenty of water and a healthy balanced diet, free of processed chemicals and with sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals. The latest recommendation for adult home care is to brush twice daily, use a power water-flossing tool and regular floss once daily, and occasionally use a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol. For those who find flossing difficult, there are products available that can help even the largest hands and fingers achieve good interdental cleaning. The goal is to remove food, plaque, and bacteria from in and around the gums and teeth.
When germs colonize in the mouth, they can cause both cavities and gum disease, which could lead to early tooth loss. Perhaps the most concerning dental problem seen today in the 50+ generation is xerostomia, or dry mouth, a side effect of the medications commonly prescribed for this age group. A decrease of saliva in the mouth reduces its natural cleansing action and leads to decay, which can destroy the dental health that adults have worked a lifetime to maintain. Oral cancer is another concern, with the Human Papilloma Virus now being the leading cause of squamous cell oral cancer in adults.
Be sure to schedule a dental visit at least twice each year, and talk to the dentist and dental hygienist about the best ways to preserve oral health. They will conduct a thorough oral cancer examination for early detection of any intraoral changes and may also recommend more frequent professional cleanings, such as every 3-4 months.
The information contained in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional health advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding any possible health condition.
Eugenia P. Roberts, D.D.S., is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Arizona. She supervises dental students during their last two years of clinical training at the Midwestern University Dental Institute in Glendale, Arizona. The Dental Institute utilizes the latest technology to provide high-quality general and specialty dental and orthodontic care for patients of all ages, at affordable prices. For more information, call 623-537-6000 or visit: www.mwuclinis.com