In the past, losing teeth and getting dentures was considered an almost-inevitable part of aging.
Those days are over. Intact teeth, healthy gums and pain-free smiles are what older adults should expect as they maintain good oral hygiene and get regular dental care.
Some seniors may find it harder to brush thoroughly and take care of their teeth than they used to.
But with age, good oral health is key to avoiding gum disease, preserving function and allowing people to eat well.
Below, dental experts describe potential issues, nifty devices and affordable resources for seniors and caregivers to keep teeth healthy.
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Mouth of a 45-Year-Old
Among most baby boomers, dental self-care comes naturally. "For this this group, losing their teeth is not a consideration," says geriatric dentist Dr. Elisa Ghezzi, a past chair of the Coalition for Oral Health for the Aging.
"They're not going to. And they're people who've grown up pretty recently educated that you should go regularly to get your teeth cleaned, that you should use a fluoridated toothpaste."
By Lisa Esposito