“I’d like to exit probably before all my teeth do, you know.”

“I’d like to exit probably before all my teeth do, you know.” As said by Robyn Hitchcock in an interview on NPR (March 3, 2013) about rock and roll legends and how so many are getting older.

So how likely is it that we will die with a full set of teeth? I did a little research on this and found that there is a very good opportunity for many of us to die with most if not all of our teeth. However, aging is a risk factor for deteriorating oral health care: it can become more difficult to brush and floss because of arthritis or other physical limitations, or maybe forgetting to do these tasks daily. Older Americans with lower incomes are more likely to be edentulous because they are less likely to have dental insurance or afford dental care.

According to a study by the National Center for Health Statistics, “the percentage of older adults who have visited a dentist in the past 12 months declines steadily with age.”

The good news is that older adults are visiting dentists now. Communities that promote healthy lifestyles, have optimal fluoride in its water supply, and access to a dentist will see the positive results. Lyons is such a community.

Good oral hygiene is your best line of defense and having good oral health habits when you are young will help you when you are older. Two risks are dental caries and periodontal disease. Brushing and flossing will help with both these issues.

Having your teeth improves quality of life over all so brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly.

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