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If you want to keep your beautiful, healthy smile throughout your adulthood, routine oral hygiene is important.  Adults are just as susceptible to cavities, gum disease and serious oral problems.

Proper oral hygiene consists of:

  • Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss every day, so you remove plaque before it hardens and becomes tartar
  • Limit sugary or starchy foods because the acids break down enamel
  • Receive professional cleanings

Even if you take exquisite care of your teeth, you may still face certain oral health issues as an adult.  However, your dentist will be able to help you.

  • Gingivitis, which begins as gum disease, is reversible.  Gingivitis is evident of red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed when brushed.  This is reversible, but advanced stages are not and may lead to the loss of teeth.  Your gums affect your overall health.
  • Fillings are cavities decay as we age.  Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Gums recede over time causing sensitivity.  However, keep an eye on your sensitivity because it can lead to bigger problems, such as a cracked tooth.
  • Crowns strengthen damaged teeth.  But, crowns also improve tooth appearance, shape and alignment.
  • Implants and bridges are used to replace missing teeth.

If you are an adult who has dentures, caring for them is just as important as caring for natural teeth.  It is vital to clean dentures daily.  Just like real teeth, bacteria sticks to partial and full dentures.  You can clean dentures with a cleaner specifically made for dentures.  Do not use toothpaste or household cleaners.  These products can damage dentures, which are very expensive.

To keep the lining of your mouth healthy, take your dentures out for at least four hours every day.  It’s best to remove your full or partial dentures at night.  Your dentist will provide you with instructions about how long your dentures should be worn each day.

For more questions about adult teeth hygiene, talk to Dr. Halsema.