Nearly one in five adults aged 65 or older has lost all of their teeth, impacting their quality of life. While some assume that tooth loss is an inevitable consequence of aging, proactive dental care can preserve both your teeth and overall health throughout your entire life.

Maintaining good oral health is crucial for kūpuna, extending beyond mere aesthetics. When kūpuna experience tooth loss, it can hinder their ability to eat properly and obtain essential nutrition. In some cases, to avoid becoming a burden on their families, they might refrain from expressing hunger or discomfort. Additionally, seniors with medical conditions like diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gum diseases. They may also experience dry mouth due to taking certain medications.

To ensure kūpuna maintain good oral and overall health, they must make it a habit to see their dentist at least twice a year, practice good oral hygiene and maintain a healthy diet. These preventive measures against tooth loss, gum disease and other issues will help seniors maintain their overall health, enjoy a higher quality of life and continue to lead active and fulfilling lives well into their golden years. So the answer to the question is: Yes, you can keep all your teeth as you age as long as you take the necessary preventive measures to live well and smile more.

HAWAII DENTAL SERVICE (501(c) 4 nonprofit)
Kahala Howser, Wellness & Events Manager