When you are young, it’s so easy to take for granted a healthy set of teeth. It’s hard to imagine that implants and dentures might be in your not-so-distant future if you do not take oral hygiene seriously. Did you know that one of the major regrets of most older people is neglecting dental care? The heavy burden of constant dental work, along with other health issues that can come from bad oral hygiene in your golden years is, the for the most part, entirely preventable.
Consequences of Neglecting Oral Hygiene
Your risk of developing a whole host of serious diseases drastically increases when you neglect brushing and flossing for years on end. Diabetes, pneumonia, heart disease, kidney failure, and even cancer have been consistently linked to poor oral hygiene. Pathogens from bad bacteria that are allowed to stay in the mouth can be aspirated into the lungs. Inflammation that is not reduced in the gums can turn into periodontitis, a very serious disease that can bring an onslaught of non-mouth related diseases. Diabetes in particular has a unique relationship with periodontitis in that the two diseases exacerbate that conditions of the other, making them both harder to treat.
Losing teeth does not have to be an expected aspect of aging. This issue can actually be easily averted, but yet it remains a major part of most people’s lives as they get older. Would you believe that 10 percent of those aged 50-64 have lost every single one of their teeth? If you take the right steps when you are young, extensive tooth loss can be prevented.
Major Dental Work in Later Years
Root canals, implants, crowns, dentures… the most expensive and time-consuming dental work can be largely avoided if you implement a solid oral hygiene routine in your early years. Even just the simple acts of brushing twice and flossing once every day will have a pay-off that is difficult to fathom when you are young. It is unfortunately the norm for older adults to spend exorbitant amounts on treating dental woes that they could have prevented.
Healthy Habits to Start Now
Here is a quick list of healthy habits to start now, if you want to prevent this outcome:
- Rinse with water after eating
- Use a mouthwash with fluoride
- Maintain bi-annual dental visits
- Brush twice and floss once every day
These simple steps are all that is needed to set you for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. It is so easy to neglect taking care of your mouth, but it is one of the most important and simplest investments you can make for your health. Your older self will definitely thank you for taking the time to prioritize oral hygiene in your younger years!