illustration of tooth with text: Older adults and oral health - take the quiz

Know What You Need to About Aging and Oral Health? Take this Quiz.

September is Healthy Aging Month! Mortenson Family Dental wants support adults living healthy lives as they age by making sure everyone knows what they should about oral health for older adults.

Ready to test your knowledge? True or False:

  1. Bacteria stick to both natural teeth and dentures.
  2. As we age, we enter a second cavity-prone stage in our lives.
  3. Research has shown links between oral health and health problems common to older adults, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.
  4. The average age of for people diagnosed with mouth cancers is 62.

 

How do you think you did? If you answered TRUE to each point above, then you got them all right! (Click on any point above to visit our sources.) Whether you aced the quiz or were tripped up by a few surprises, keep reading so you know the best steps to take to protect your teeth and mouth.

Brush Twice and Floss Every Day – Dentures Too!

 

This is one of the basics of oral health care at any age, and should be continued throughout your life. If you wear partial or full dentures, this also means brushing your dentures daily since bacteria in your mouth attaches to dentures as well as teeth. Be sure to use a cleaning product made for use with dentures; don’t use standard toothpaste or household cleaners! These can hurt your dentures and cause unnecessary expense if you have to replace damaged dentures.

Drink Plenty of Water

 

Many adults’ cavities are brought on by dry mouth. While dry mouth itself is not expected in typical aging, it is a side effect of hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Saliva does some important work in the mouth, including washing away bits of food, neutralizing acids in food and beverages, and providing defense against infection. When your mouth is too dry, you’re not producing enough saliva, and cavities can become more likely as a result. To combat dry mouth, drink lots of water, check with your family dentist about an oral rinse, or consider talking with your physician about possible medication alternatives.

Visit Your Dentist At Least Once a Year

 

Your local dentist can offer the best recommendation on how often to be seen for checkups, but at a minimum, you should be going once each year. Prevention and early detection are so important! The nerves in your teeth get smaller and less sensitive as you get older, and the decreased sensitivity means that you are less likely to feel pain from a cavity early in its existence. When you do feel pain, it is possible that the cavity may be too far gone and cause you to loose your tooth.  And remember the links shown between oral health and other health issues? Your dentist and dental team can help spot warning signs of other health problems, as well as perform oral cancer screenings. Last but not least, be sure to let your dentist know about any medications you are taking.

We want everyone to age happily and in good health! If you follow the steps above and maintain your oral health routine, you will be well on your way to ensuring a healthy mouth for a long time. Time for a visit? Just click below to request an appointment and any of our offices.

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photo of boy in sports jersey with mouguard

Why We Love Mouthguards (And You Should Too!)

Ahh, fall. The season for crisp, clear evenings, leaves changing color and crunching underfoot, pumpkin everything, and – of course – fall sports! As the season approaches and you prepare your kids for football, hockey and other sports, don’t forget one of the best ways you can protect their smiles: a mouthguard.

What makes a mouthguard so important?

1. Sports-related dental injuries affect a lot of people.

Naturally, no one wants their child to be injured in any way while playing sports, but, unfortunately, dental injuries happen more frequently than you might think. From the American Dental Assistants Association’s Sports-Related Dental Injuries and Sports Dentistry educational materials (emphasis ours):

“Approximately 20 million children participate in various sports programs in the United States and another 80 million are involved in unsupervised recreational sports. In addition, 15 million Americans suffer dental injuries and 5 million teeth are lost annually in sports-related injuries. During a single athletic season, athletes have a 1 in 10 chance of suffering a facial or dental injury. In fact, the lifetime risk of such an injury is estimated to be about 45% according to the National Youth Sports Foundation.”

2. Mouthguards are effective in preventing dental injuries.

There are a few types of dental injuries. Teeth can become chipped, broken, loose, or lost altogether. Dealing with a dental trauma can be hard for anyone, especially kids. Your teeth affect how you smile, how you eat, and how you speak. Treatment for dental injuries can also be costly. A mouthguard helps by protecting your teeth and decreases risk of all of these types of injuries. In fact, studies have found that mouthguards are not just one way to prevent sports-related dental injuries, they are the most effective way.

3. Mouthguards are available for a range of prices.

There are three kinds of mouthguards:

  • Ready-Made: These mouthguards can be found in many grocery and drug stores and are ready to wear out of the box. They are the least expensive option, and while they do work for some, they don’t often fit very well, and as a result can be uncomfortable and make speaking difficult.
  • Boil-and-Bite: Also available in drugstores and grocery stores, as well as sporting goods stores, boil-and-bite mouthguards are a way to get a better fit while still being relatively inexpensive. Before initial use, you soften the guard material by boiling, and then “bite” into it, allowing the material to mold around your teeth and gums.
  • Custom-Made: A custom-made mouthguard is made just for you by your family dentist. For many people, this option offers the best and most comfortable fit. When your dentist makes your mouthguard, s/he can also tailor it to the needs of the individual athlete and their sport. These are also the most expensive mouthguards, but are a worthwhile investment for active kids (and adults).

If your child needs a mouthguard for the fall sports season, just get in touch with us! We’re here to help.

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group photo of 2015 Eagle U participants

Mortenson Family Dental Supports Community Youth

Eagle University is a week-long event at the University of Louisville where students stay on campus throughout the week and learn from world-renowned speakers about life experiences and how to set themselves apart from their peers. At the end of the week the students get to meet with and interview successful community members for an opportunity to learn from their genius. One pathway to success Eagle University teaches is it copy genius, by developing relationships with mentors, rather than to create mediocrity by trial and error.

Mortenson Family Dental participates by donating to Eagle U so that our team members’ children and our patients can experience the program at a significantly reduced rate. We are committed to helping not only our team members achieve success, but their families and our patients as well. By sending our young people to Eagle U, we are helping them create pathways to success.

“It is critical to success to think and to plan ahead. It is also critical to our company culture that we provide opportunities such as Eagle U to our team members’ children and our patients. Eagle U has been an extraordinary experience for the students that have been able to attend over the last three years. We are proud to partner with Eagle U and to support it so that others in the community can benefit from it too.” Jacque Ramsey- Marketing Director

Mortenson Family Dental requested three years ago for the program to come to the University of Louisville in an effort to provide this wonderful experience to local students. We are proud to support such a life-changing program. Check out what Dawne Gee and the Wave 3 News Team had to say about Eagle U!

boy and girl running with backpacks and text: Beat the back to school rush!

Is your child ready for school?

  • Pencils – Check!
  • Paper – Check!
  • Crayons – Check!
  • Dentist Appointment – !!!

There’s so much to do when it’s back to school time, it’s easy to forget about a visit to the dentist. But Kentucky now requires proof of a dental screening or exam before a child can be registered for school. Live in Indiana? Keep reading – even if a dental visit is not required for school, oral health is important to every child’s success in school.

Studies have shown a link between a child’s oral health care and performance in school.

What’s the connection? Oral health can impact a child’s ability to perform well in school in a number of ways, including absence from school, dealing with pain, inability to chew properly, being unable to focus, and feeling self-conscious.

  • In one study, children with poor oral health were nearly 3 times more likely than their peers to miss school as a result of dental pain. Interestingly enough, the same study found that absences due to pain were associated with poorer school performances, where absences for routine care were not.
  • For children and teens in families with lower incomes, the kids who had a toothache within the last 6 months were almost 4 times as likely as their peers to have an average GPA below a 2.8. (National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center)
  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children ages 6 to 19. (CDC website)

The Good News: Preventative dental care can make all the difference!

Make sure your child is prepared to succeed in school and in life by helping them to stay healthy. For their oral health, this means brushing twice a day and flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and seeing the dentist regularly. We’d love to see you before school starts!

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