You likely already know that following a healthy lifestyle is the secret to living a longer, happier, and healthier life. What many adults overlook, however, is how their oral health is connected to the risks of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.
We’re living longer, healthier, and more productive lives than any other time in history. Adults are crushing the stereotypical profile of what it means to grow older by taking control of their physical, spiritual and mental well-being. In the course of living the best life you can, don’t overlook your oral health!
Research continues to find links between oral health and cardiovascular health and other systemic diseases. Bacteria and inflammation from periodontitis, or gum disease, is thought to be the culprit in connection with cases of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. While researchers debate the causes and effects, the links seem clear. Take action now by improving your oral health.
Here are the top 5 ways to help maintain and improve your oral health to stay young at heart:
1. Exercise your arms – brush and floss
The foods we eat break down quickly in the mouth into bacteria and settle into the spaces on and inbetween teeth. This bacteria can lead to inflamation of the gums, periodontitis and ultimately tooth loss. Don’t get old before your time! To reduce the risk of periodontitis and other health problems, brush teeth properly two times each day and floss once every day. Antimicrobial mouthrise can offer another level of preventative maintenance to your every day oral health routine.
2. Say goodbye – toss the old toothbrush
Make sure your toothbrush is in tip-top shape. Toss your worn toothbrush after three to four months and replace it with a new soft-bristled brush to protect your gums. Worn toothbrushes simply don’t clean effectively.
3. Take a walk – visit your dentist at least twice each year
Your family dentist can help provide the guidance you need to help keep your teeth for a lifetime. Regular check-ups are especially important so your dentist can monitor changes in your oral and overall health. At George Dental Group, we work as a team with seniors in maintaining and preserving their dental and overall health.
4. Do-it-yourself – monitor your dental health at home
In addition to seeing your dentist and using proper dental hygiene, you should monitor any changes in your teeth and gums at home. Alert your dentist to worrisome changes. The American Dental Association recommends watching for these warning signs of gum disease: bleeding gums during brushing or flossing; red, swollen or tender gums, persistent bad breath; loose or separating teeth; gums that have pulled away from teeth; pus between teeth and gums; changes in the fit of dentures.
5. Get to know your food – eat a balanced diet
Aging adults should boost their intake of vitamins and other nutrients from food sources – not only supplements. Look for foods that are rich in Vitamin C to promote gum health and Vitamin A to protect tooth enamel. Foods rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cantaloupe. Vitamin A can be found in foods such as dark leafy greens, kale, carrots and sweet potatoes.
To jump start your progress, try our recipe for Crunchy Chopped Salad, courtesy of the American Academy of Costmetic Dentistry.
By following these easy tips, you can keep help keep your oral health in terrific shape for a lifetime. At George Dental, we focus on senior dental care and the special oral health needs of our guests who are young at heart.
Recipe for a Healthier Smile→
CRUNCHY CHOPPED SALAD
1 cup celery, chopped
¼ cup red pepper, chopped
1 Tablespoon onion, red, green or white,
4 leaves fresh basil, chopped, or
¼ teaspoon dried basil
2 drops stevia, or 1 teaspoon honey, to taste
1 teaspoon raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil,
Sea salt, a pinch or two, to taste
Fresh ground pepper corn, a pinch or two,
Chop the vegetables and basil, if using fresh,
and place in a medium bowl. If using dried basil, keep in a separate bowl. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, stevia (or
honey), salt, pepper, olive oil (optional), and 2
teaspoons of water; add dried basil if using this
instead of fresh. Stir and pour over vegetables.
Toss well to coat. Divide into two servings.