As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
What Have 43 percent of American Adults Lost—That They Hated To Lose—Over Which They Had Complete Control—And That Was VERY Preventable?
The answer is their Teeth! Yes, it’s true, 43 percent of Americans have lost some or even all of their teeth by the time they’ve reached age 45. And, what a shame that is, because our teeth are really designed to last a lifetime, although that won’t happen automatically, without our own personal effort.
There’s nothing like a beautiful smile to impress people we meet or make us feel good about ourselves. And there’s no replacing a set of healthy teeth for chewing food or even speaking properly.
Dental cavities are declining in the U.S. because of fluoridation programs and better tooth care products.
Tooth loss is usually caused by the condition of the gums, known as periodontal disease, which is the loss of connective tissue and bone that support the teeth. It starts before you can see it, usually from improper care.
All periodontal disease begins with Gingivitis, which is inflammation, swelling and bleeding gum tissues caused by a build up of dental plaque. You need to remove dental plaque daily through proper brushing and cleansing, and by periodic visits to a dental hygienist. Let me say right here that we should NEVER go to bed without brushing and cleaning our teeth every night. It’s not the “teeth cleaning” that is so important here to prevent gum disease…it’s the removing of all traces of food and drink from our gums. Food and drink lodge between your gums and teeth and work against the healthy life of your teeth all night. If we do this, have regular dental check ups and eat a healthy diet we can keep all of our natural teeth forever.
Tooth loss is not an issue of age. If we’ve noticed our parents losing their teeth, it’s most likely because of neglect, not because they’re getting older. It is generally accepted by the medical community that tooth loss can be prevented through education, early diagnosis and regular dental care. Tooth loss does not happen overnight… it’s neglect for a long period of time. One positive note is that gum disease can be reversible if caught in time.
Replacing teeth is very expensive and I’ve been told the false ones don’t work as well as the original, natural ones. So, not only is it less expensive to take proper care of our teeth, our natural ones function better as well.
My dentist says I have the healthy gums of a 20 year old, even over 70, and to keep on doing whatever it is I’m doing. So here is what I have done most of my life:
My Personal Routine
I brush my teeth and gums well when I get up in the morning stimulating the gum circulation. Make sure you brush the inside of the gums too. At night I do the same thing again but also use a water-pick from inside the teeth and gums as well as outside making sure to stimulate the gums while doing so. The waterpik finds more particles still to remove after just brushing and flossing. This total process stimulates the gum circulation, which is very important.
I have never flossed. When a new dentist sees my teeth and gums, the first thing they mumble is, “I guess you floss twice a day…like a statement…it’s not even a question! I love to tell them, “I never floss!…I use a waterpik!” I’m not against flossing…and I don’t own any stock in waterpiks…I just don’t think it does the full job. Think about it…when you floss you can push food and bacteria up under the gum while doing so. AND try using a waterpik AFTER you floss…you will still see food particles come out in the sink.
When I feel the need I put a little anti-bacterial mouthwash in the water, too, for added assistance and freshness.
I wish you the brightest smile and a healthy, long beautiful life.
Editor’s note: I haven’t enjoyed Oleda’s splendid dental health, but I second her recommendation of Waterpiks. I have bridgework that is nearly impossible for me to floss around, but my waterpik does a great job of getting where the toothbrush can’t reach. Tony