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The elderly population is expected to grow dramatically in the next few years as the baby boomer generation enters old age. For example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that there will be 72 million seniors in the U.S. in 2030, which is more than double what it was in 2000. It will be essential for these individuals to not only know how to care for their medical needs, but their dental health as well.
Recently, Daily Finance reported on a survey conducted by Crest, Oral B and the American Association of Retired Persons, which set out to examine the dental care habits of the baby boomer generation. The findings showed that while this population recognizes that dental care is important, there is still room for improvement.
An important part of health
The survey discovered that 74 percent of baby boomers who responded said they visit a dentist at least twice a year. While this is good news, these individuals still need a little work when it comes to their dental care habits. For example, 60 percent said that they do not use mouthwash daily. This is a problem, since mouthwash can help reach parts of the mouth that brushing may have missed. Similarly, 47 percent said that they do not floss daily. These individuals are missing out on an opportunity to remove leftover food particles from in between teeth that can get stuck and feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Most concerning is that 34 percent of respondents said they only brush once a day. This means they are allowing food particles to remain on their teeth for long periods of time each day, which could increase their risk of tooth decay.
"As adults age, it is critical that they continue to maintain a rigorous oral hygiene regimen," Ann Ross, R.D.H., from Mobile Dentistry of Arizona, told Daily Finance. "This should include regular professional dental cleanings and using products that address their oral health needs."
Elderly people have a greater chance of experiencing dental health issues than their younger counterparts. This is why it is particularly important that, as baby boomers reach old age, they brush their teeth twice a day, floss once daily and follow all of their dentist's advice. Also, older people who no longer have dental insurance should look into discount dental plans to help them afford their care.
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