Survey: Many Older Iowans Regret Not Taking Better Care Of Their Smiles

Statewide Iowa — Iowa has one of the nation’s oldest populations by percentage and a new study finds people 50-plus do realize the importance of oral health but aren’t necessarily taking the steps to prioritize it.

Sarah Chavarria, with Delta Dental, says the insurance company’s latest survey finds some senior citizens simply aren’t aware of the connection between a person’s oral health and their overall health.

When a person’s oral health erodes, she says it can have a definite impact on their mental and emotional health. The survey found two in five seniors surveyed admit they smile a lot less now than when they were younger, while one in three say the appearance of their teeth stops them from smiling in photos.

Older Iowans may find a series of barriers that keep them from taking good care of their teeth.

Other barriers include a negative perception of going to the dentist and financial challenges. She’s urging everyone to adopt the “two-one-two” philosophy when caring for their smiles.

Eating healthier snacks, like fruits and vegetables, is also a plus, as is exercise. Also, if you have a partial or a denture, take it out for a good cleaning at least once a day. For more tips, visit the Delta Dental of Iowa website at