If you are like most of us these days, you are concerned about your health. Eating right, exercising, making sure the older you get you will be able to do and enjoy the things you want to do no matter your age. Taking care of your physical and mental health is certainly important, but have you thought about adding your dental health to that list?
Losing our teeth, eating soft food, and dentures are unfortunately what we assume is our fate as we age, when honestly nothing could be further from the truth. For anyone who practices good home care, gets regular dental check-ups and works with their dentist to be proactive with preventive measures, the future can be so much brighter.
Last week my wife and I invited decided to invite her mother and my parents over for dinner. Now, our parents are getting up there; my wife’s mother is 84 and my parents are 89 and 91, and while they are certainly showing the signs of aging, they move quite slowly, tend to forget things, and yes, often repeat stories over and over again, I have to say their dental health is remarkable.
That was evident by what we decided to serve for dinner. It was a beautiful evening, so we decided to have dinner outside, and as I cleaned up the backyard and set the table, my wife ran to the store to grab a few things. Without thinking, she bought one of their favorite dinners, fresh vegetables, chicken and corn on the cob, all perfect to throw on the grill. When she got home, we were putting up the groceries, and as she started to shuck the corn, she started to laugh. She remarked, that she obviously was not thinking, our parents certainly could not eat corn on the cob, “old” people can’t eat corn on the cob.
Much to our surprise, not only did all three of our parents take the corn still on the cob, they took the biggest ears. And sure enough they sat there through dinner eating those ears with the appetite and aggression of a teenage boy, after a day at football camp. It was amazing, partly because they just never eat like that, but more so, because it just showed both my wife and I that keeping your teeth healthy and strong for the rest of your life is possible.
If you want strong, healthy teeth, and you want to be able to enjoy your favorite foods, then the choice truly is up to you. All of our parents have prioritized their health, including their dental health. They have wonderful home care (they brush and floss regularly), and they get regular dental check-ups (I know I am their dentist) and they have always been proactive with any preventive work they needed to keep their teeth healthy and strong.
As we age, it is just a fact of life that our bodies and our minds will begin to fail, but while we have always believed healthy teeth were just another thing we would lose; our parents are living proof that just isn’t true. We are grateful they took amazing care of their teeth, because I cannot tell you how much fun it was for my wife and I to sit there with our aging parents and watch them enjoy one of their favorite dinners with gusto!