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    How Teeth Change With Age

    Be Kind to Sensitive Teeth

    Worn enamel, gum problems, and tooth decay can all make your teeth more sensitive. It can hurt when you drink something hot or cold or even when you brush your teeth a little too hard.

    Good dental care is the best prevention. Brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly. If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist can recommend a toothpaste or in-office treatment that will make you more comfortable.

    Look Out for Acid

    Fizzy drinks and citrus fruits and juices all contain acid. Sugary and starchy foods cause your mouth to make acid. Each wears away the enamel on your teeth.

    Don't swish these drinks around in your mouth. Follow it up with milk or cheese to "cancel out" the acid. Eat sugary and starchy foods with your main meals, not as snacks. That's when your mouth makes the most saliva to help wash acid away

    Be on the Lookout for Cancer

    As you age, there's a small chance you could develop cancer of your mouth, throat, tongue, or lips. The best way to prevent this is to stop smoking and drink alcohol only in moderation. Use lip balm with sunscreen whenever you go outside.

    Pain isn't a symptom early on, so you need to see your dentist regularly for checkups. He can look for any problems and treat them early. Warning signs may include sores, red or white patches, and any long-lasting changes in your mouth.

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    Reviewed on December 15, 2015

    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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