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Ensuring good oral health for life

(NC) As we get older our bodies start to change. Metabolism can slow down, and healthy eating and regular exercise become increasingly important. Few of us may be aware that our mouths, teeth and gums also need a little extra attention, especially as we age.

In my dental practice, I see a lot of patients over the age of 50 whose oral health concerns are often similar: tender, inflamed gums, plaque build-up and bad breath. Here are three simple steps to help prevent these conditions from emerging or recurring:

• Floss at least once a day to remove food and plaque from between the teeth. About three in 10 Canadian adults claim to floss at least once a day* – neglecting to do this can lead to gum disease.

• Invest in an electric toothbrush with a timer and ensure you're brushing for two minutes, twice daily with a good toothpaste. A product I recommend to my patients is Crest Pro-Health For Life toothpaste; it helps defend against tooth sensitivity, weakened enamel, tender inflamed gums from gingivitis, plaque, bad breath and surface stains.

• Rinse for 30 seconds with a multi-protection, alcohol-free rinse to help wash away remaining food particles and loosened plaque from flossing and brushing.

By following these three steps and visiting your dentist regularly, you'll be on your way to keeping your healthy looking smile for life.

Dr. Janet Tamo is a Toronto dentist devoted to preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry and has spent 20 years teaching dentistry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Tamo is also a consulting dentist for Crest and Oral-B.

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Source: Findings from the fourth annual Crest and Oral-B Great Canadian Smile Survey, a national sample of Canadian consumers randomly selected from TNS Canada's Internet research panel from November 28 to December 2, 2013.

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