Dr. Yvonne M. Wolny, dental director,
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
It’s often said
that “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.” At Blue Cross & Blue
Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), we completely agree. While one of the best
times to create good dental habits is when we’re young, ensuring that those
healthy habits continue as we get older is just as important.
together with your dentist to find the right oral hygiene regime for you, your
whole body will feel better. Here are our top three tips for taking care of
your teeth as you age.
Visit your dentist
is a wonderful source of knowledge for any questions you may have regarding oral
hygiene. Visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and a thorough teeth cleaning.
If you are diabetic or have other chronic diseases, you should visit the
dentist three times a year.
If you wear a
full denture, you should still see your dentist twice per year to have your
dentures cleaned and inspected as well as to receive an oral cancer screening.
Brush twice, floss once (unless you have dentures!)
age, you should brush your teeth twice a day with a soft or an extra soft
toothbrush and replace it every few months. In addition, floss at least once a
day to remove any additional food, plaque or bacteria between your teeth.
If you use
dentures, do not use a toothbrush or toothpaste to clean your dentures as they
may damage the surface and become a trap for bacteria that can cause odors or
trap stains. Before sleeping, always remove your dentures (partial or complete)
and soak them with an effervescent tablet.
Watch what you eat, especially at bedtime
What we eat
affects our teeth. After a meal, chew a piece of sugar free gum to raise the pH
in your mouth, which makes the bacteria less virulent. Even when you’re not
eating anything, drink lots of water or enjoy a sugar free mint to avoid having
a dry mouth, which contributes to tooth decay.
brush your teeth at night, we recommend not eating or drinking anything unless
it is water. If you’re still hungry, nibble on some cheddar cheese, which stimulates
your saliva to neutralize bacteria and adheres to your teeth to create a
protective layer and prevent tooth decay.
health comes from developing and sticking to simple healthy habits. Dental
hygiene is a key part of your overall health and wellness, and creates a better
quality of life. Take care of your teeth for a healthier body and a smile that
lasts a lifetime.