A 2003 United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) phone survey of 50,635 adults over the age of 65 found that the number of elderly individuals retaining their natural teeth has increased steadily. The phone survey included all 50 states, Washington DC, and three U.S. territories.
Findings differed from state to state, with tooth retention (lost five or fewer teeth) estimates ranging from 27% in West Virginia to 64% in Utah. The three states with the best retention rates were California, Colorado, and the aforementioned Utah. Each had an estimated retention rate over 60%. The three states with the lowest estimated retention rate were Kentucky, Mississippi, and the aforementioned West Virginia. In these states, less than 40% had retained most of their teeth.
The Not-So-Secret Secret to Tooth Retention
It is no secret that the secret to tooth retention is good oral hygiene! And do you know the secret to good oral hygiene? The Dentists!
You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. During these visits, your dentist or dental hygienist will clean and polish your teeth as well as remove plaque and tartar from your gums. Regular trips to the dentist can also help catch oral health problems, like tooth decay, gum disease, trauma, or cancer, at an early stage when they’re still very treatable.
Additional Oral Hygiene Tips
- Brush Twice a Day: At a minimum, you should brush at least twice a day. Ideally, you would brush after each and every meal, though we realize this is not always feasible.
- Floss Once a Day: Brushing is not enough. You must also floss daily. Flossing helps remove the food particles that brushing misses.
- Eat Right: Nutrition is key to good oral hygiene. Certain foods, especially sugary foods fuel bacteria and acid production, which promotes plaque production and leads to tooth decay.
- Stop Smoking: According to the CDC, smokers have lowest rates of tooth retention.
If you have any questions about Oral Hygiene, or if you wish to schedule an appointment, please contact Annapolis Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today! You can also follow Annapolis Dental Care on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.