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Thirty years ago, most adults in the US took it for granted that they would lose their teeth as they grew older. That is not at all true, but many of the nation's 75 million aging baby boomers still believe it.
The truth is that with proper dental care, including daily brushing and flossing, frequent (every 6 months or so) dental visits, and a healthy diet, there is no reason that you shouldn't keep all of your teeth for your entire life.
The most common cause of tooth loss is gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Gum disease is caused primarily by plaque accumulating along the gum line, so removing the plaque from your teeth daily really can keep them healthy and in your mouth.
So, don't just resign your teeth to eventual loss like millions of other Americans; take advantage of your dental plan (and if you don't have one, buy one of the many affordable dental plans now on the market), see a dentist, and start treating your teeth properly. It is not too late to ensure that they stick around as long as you do.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|