The Key to a Healthy Life Is Right Under Your Nose

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Salud America! Guest Blogger
Jefferson Dental Care

The key to a long, healthy life isn’t fame or fortune.

It’s right under your nose…it’s your mouth!

girl brushing teeth (tall version)Poor dental health—cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease—are a big problem for many Latinos ages 65 and older. In fact, Latino seniors have among the highest rates of no remaining teeth (25%) and untreated tooth decay (40%).

And that’s not all.

Mouth in Bad Health = Body in Bad Health

Poor dental health isn’t just bad for your teeth as you age.

Dental issues are linked to diabetes, cancers and heart disease, which are each more prevalent among Latinos than the overall population.

Inflammation in the body also translates in the mouth, and Latino seniors who suffer from diabetes are also likely to heal less rapidly and suffer from inflammation and bleeding in the mouth.

While teeth and gum tissue can be surgically or prosthetically replaced, natural gum tissue and teeth will not regenerate once lost.

That’s why its important care for your mouth early on and throughout life.

Tips for a healthy smile de por vida

You moisturize, stay active, drink water.

What else can you do to stay healthy as you get older?

Certainly aim to brush twice daily and floss.

Here are a few additional oral health tips that can keep your smile young.

    1. Brush for long enough. Brushing twice a day is great, but be sure that you are brushing for long enough. The recommended time is 2 minutes.
    2. Floss your teeth. 20% of Americans never floss at all, and only 4 in 10 floss once a day. A study found that flossing can actually help you live longer, adding 6.4 years to your life.
    3. Eat a well-balanced diet. Incorporate a varied diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbs to support the health of the tissues and bone that comprise your mouth.
    4. Balance stress through positive activities. Stress can lead to teeth grinding and clenching. Pressure from teeth grinding can thin tooth causing a range of oral health issues.
    5. Never ignore pain, sensitivity. One of the BIGGEST cardinal rules of dental care is not ignoring abnormalities in your mouth.
    6. See the dentist every 6 months for an exam, x-rays and dental cleaning. Plaque and tartar buildup causes oral health problems, but is also correlated to heart disease.

If you haven’t seen a dentist in 6 months or longer, it’s time to schedule an appointment.

Aside from the health benefits, a healthy glowing smile can make you look younger, more confident and more radiant.

Get more tips for a healthy mouth here.

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By The Numbers By The Numbers

37

Percent

of Head Start and Early Head Start participants are Latino.

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