Our teeth are a signpost for our health as much as they are an indicator of the age and stage we’re at in life.
We may not consciously think of it as such, but this relationship with our teeth is for life and it changes over time. How it changes depends on many factors, not least of which is our age.
Where have you been on the Teeth Life Indicator?
Reflecting on your own experience, can you relate to any of these stages?
⇒ Kids and Teens – When we’re kids, we get told to look after our teeth. By contrast, as teenagers, we try to avoid them.
⇒ Carefree 20’s and 30’s – In our twenties, we often don’t give them a second thought, but by the time our thirties come round, maybe, just maybe, the thought of our teeth might pop into our heads.
⇒ Focused 40’s and 50’s – As we hit the forties, we’re not feeling quite so indestructible and teeth start to feature in our health care. In our fifties, our teeth have more of our focus. We sit up and start to pay attention because we realize they’re the only set we have.
⇒ Sorting 60’s and 70’s – During our sixties, we start to replace our teeth as we try to set things right. And in our seventies and beyond, we wish we’d spent more time looking after them in our twenties!
What happens during the Focused 50’s?
Let’s delve into the Focused 50’s a little more.
When mid-life hits, our teeth start to feature more prominently in our overall health considerations.
Issues such as teeth shortening and staining emerge. This is due in large part to lifestyle choices linked to alcohol consumption and diet.
Teeth may be lost due to lack of consistent care, often the result of lifetime habits. This is often a clear sign that regular brushing and flossing have not been part of a person’s oral hygiene habits.
Gums may also recede, giving them the appearance of being longer, and that’s not a good thing.
If left untreated, you may find yourself dealing with the more severe consequences and long term effects of poor oral health care in your sixties, seventies and beyond. This is a very realistic scenario, as life expectancy continues to increase.
Need an incentive to look after your teeth?
As dental practitioners, increasingly we are seeing the 50-plus age bracket looking for ways to remedy the issues that have been in the making for some time, but are in need of attention in this next stage of life.
If you’re looking for even more incentive to make the ‘teeth for life’ journey smoother, whatever stage you’re at, you need not look far.
The imperative for preventative care is even greater now, with ample research available indicating the clear connection between a person’s oral health and overall health.
What does this mean for those interested in keeping their ‘Teeth. For Life.’? The sooner we start taking those preventative measures – hygiene visits, regular brushing and flossing – the better off we’ll be.
The good news is, it’s never too late to start having a better relationship with them.
This understanding is integral to the best approach to patient care. Make sure your dentist is working with you in this way to ensure you have the teeth you need and want, no matter what your age is and where you’re at in life.
Are you now comfortable with the condition of your teeth? If not, CALL US on 5573 0188 to book in for your Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment (COHA) with Dr Mark Miller.
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