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Having a grandparent(s) who is healthy and well is a blessing. Chances are, you would know a grandparent or have one in your family. Or you yourself are a grandparent. In our society, grandparent’s age range can be wide from the 40s to over 100.

We all want our grandparents to stay healthy and full of life for many years to come.

With the ever-increasing population of seniors globally, health care professionals actively suggesting numerous ways to keep their body and mind healthy.

Having healthy, strong teeth should also be a priority in keeping us in top shape.

Here are 7 tips for grandparents (and all of us) to keep our teeth healthy.

1. Great Oral Hygiene

Keeping up with good oral hygiene becomes more important with age. Various factors (medication side effects, recession and decreased salivary flow) can cause more plaque build up with age and consequently more gum disease and decay.

We now have findings that there is a strong correlation between gum disease and heart disease as well as gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Oh recommends the use of an electric toothbrush, regular flossing, and using interproximal brush where there are big spaces.

Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day and regular checkup visits to the dentist should be a simple commitment for life.

2. Stay Away from Sugar and Processed Carbohydrates

We all heard that sugar is bad for the teeth and the body. Sugar and processed carbohydrates will, directly and indirectly, compromise the health of our mouth. High sugar level is a known cause for compromised immune function and increased inflammation.

3. Stay active and control the blood sugar level

As we mentioned above, high blood sugar due to high consumption of sugar and processed carbohydrates will likely to cause pre-diabetes or diabetes. Periodontal disease has shown a strong correlation to diabetes. Staying active has many benefits for the body, mind and even for the mouth.

4. Try to consume water-rich, crunchy vegetables regularly.

Vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and celery would not only clean the teeth naturally but also keep one’s mind young. Being able to consume this type of food also requires a healthy mouth. For instance, full denture patients will not able to consume such food easily.

There is an association that edentulous patients (patients with no teeth) have more likely to have dementia.

Nowadays, “No one should have difficulty with complete edentulism not being able to eat hard food, thanks to the Dental Implants nowadays .” according to Dr. Oh.

5. Drink Water whenever possible

Water is the only drink that does not have stains, sugar or acidity. Despite the health claims of many other types of drinks, for teeth, water is the best.

Avoiding soda, juice, any acidic drinks will keep your teeth healthy and mineralized.

6. Treat dental problems as quickly as possible.

Neglecting dental problems can later be even more extensive and costly. When there is a small problem, such as broken filling or sensitivity, address it to your dentist.

If neglected too long, the tooth our teeth may not be salvageable and the treatment option can be complicated.

Being able to chew becomes more important as we age and actively taking care of the smallest dental problems would help us keep us healthy.

7. Be a good role model for grandchildren.

Kids love sweets and grandparents want to give them sweet treats because of this.

However, it is not really helping their precious teeth or their health. Offering the grandchildren healthy treats (vegetables and fruits) or non-food treats would be advisable.

Having quality time with the family without having to involve sweets and processed food is perfectly ok and great for everyone’s health.

If you would want to make an appointment for a grandparent for regular checkup and cleaning or evaluation for small problems, please contact us.

Dr. Stella Oh Dr. Stella Oh is a highly accomplished surgically trained prosthodontist who practices at Madison Avenue Dentists, PC. Dr. Oh provides all levels of dentistry, from routine care to full mouth reconstructions involving dental implant surgeries. She has completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from NYU College of Dentistry and further finished a 3-year prosthodontic residency and 2-year Dental Implant Surgical Fellowship. Furthermore, she has taught at NYU College of Dentistry for numerous years while maintaining a private practice. "Learning should never stop" according to Dr. Oh, "and educating patients about dental care is important." Dr. Oh continuously researches new science and technology in dentistry to improve patient care and the successful outcome of her treatments. She implements a cutting edge scientific approach with an integrative concept in mind. "Mouth is not a separate part of one's body," says Dr. Oh, "but it should consider as an important part of overall health."

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