People are living much longer than ever before. When The Baby Boomer generation was growing up it was assumed that losing your teeth was unavoidable and dentures were a given. Now we know that that just isn’t the truth. With proper care everyone should have the majority of their teeth for a lifetime. We are also seeing that poor oral health can contribute to many of the causes of illness and early death such as heart conditions, diabetes and stroke.
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The following quiz contains information garnered through The American Dental Association site www.mouthhealthy.org for Baby Boomers.
1. Everyone needs dentures at some point. T or F
False. 75% of all adults over 65 have some or all of their natural teeth.
2.It doesn’t matter if I get calcium from my food or from supplements-its all the same. T or F
False. In a recent study, people who got their calcium almost exclusively from supplements were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with those who took no supplements. The recommended daily amount of calcium for most adults is 1,000 milligrams a day, preferably from foods including low-fat dairy such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Calcium can help to avoid bone loss and thus also tooth loss.
3. Dry mouth causes cavities.
True. Many Baby Boomers take medications (such as certain blood pressure medications) that cause dry mouth. This environment can cause an increase in cavity-causing bacteria. Drinking plenty of water and using prescription fluorides to strengthen teeth. Seeing your dentist regularly is extremely important.
4. A manual toothbrush cleans as effectively as an electric toothbrush. T or F
True. See my other blog titled “Doctor, What’s the Best Toothbrush and Toothpaste To Use?” As long as you are brushing properly and often either one is effective. For those with decreased manual dexterity due to osteoarthritis, an electric toothbrush may be the better choice.
5. It’s not important to my dentist if I have a heart condition or joint replacement. T or F
False. The American Heart Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons have noted that there are some conditions that have a high risk of bacterial infection from dental procedures. They may recommend that you take antibiotics before dental procedures to reduce the risk. Be sure to ask your physician if you have either a heart condition or an artificial joint before you visit your dentist.
Baby Boomers are the generation that have seen some of the most fantastic advances and innovations in all aspects of life. It is because of many of these that they are living longer than any other generation in times past. Keeping a healthy mouth and having an attractive smile is important to them as well. They feel healthier and younger and want to look the part as well. Many Baby Boomers are having their teeth whitened or having cosmetic dental veneers or crowns placed on their teeth to improve the looks of their smile. If you are interested in having a free cosmetic dental consultation with me, Dr. Greg Nicholson at Cosmetic Dentistry of Murfreesboro, give my office a call today at 615-893-5500. You too can discover why my office was voted “Favorite Cosmetic Surgery Center” in the Daily News Journal’s 2013 “Ruthies Awards”.