40 Things Every Woman Over 40 Should Know About Her Health

Your 40s are a great decade. You're feeling more comfortable in your own skin than ever before, you're at the peak of your career, and you're finally taking charge when it comes to your health. Or at least, you should be.

During this period of your life, doctors from all fields will give you the same advice again and again: Put yourself first and you'll thrive. To help you know where to start, we've rounded up 40 tips that will help you feel your best through your 40s and beyond.

1 Your changing hormones can also affect your mouth.

It seems like your changing hormones in your 40s take a toll on everything. Aside from messing with your hair, they can also affect your mouth. "Forty is the age some women start experiencing hormonal changes, and because the oral mucosa contains estrogen receptors, changes in hormone levels directly affect the oral cavity," says Sonya Krasilnikov, DDS, co-founder and cosmetic general dentist at Dental House in New York City. "These changes can include dry mouth, burning mouth syndrome, caries, periodontal disease, and taste changes. Those are all symptoms that should be evaluated by your doctor and dentist."

2 Flossing becomes especially crucial.
 

If you don't want to rock a pair of dentures in the future, don't skimp out on your oral hygiene now. That means continuing to floss daily, even though it's a pain.

"'Brush and floss when you're young and you'll keep your teeth when you're old' is my favorite quote," says Krasilnikov.

3 You need to take the time to banish your stress.

Throughout your 20s and 30s, stress was a given. Whether it was due to your career, your relationship, or raising a family, you probably got used to feeling a bit frazzled. Now, make sure you're taking the time to combat that pent-up tension—otherwise, you'll really feel it down the road.

"Many people in their 40s reach the peak of their career, and with managerial roles come long hours at the office and a significant increase in stress," Krasilnikov says. "Stress typically leads to bruxism, a condition in which one unconsciously clenches and grinds their teeth. This will lead to wear of the enamel, sensitivity, jaw pain, and headaches."

4 Small healthy habits matter more than you think.

When you're super busy, some of your healthy habits—whether that's exercising, meditating, or cooking a healthy homemade meal—can be put on the back burner. But, as Krasilnikov explains, that's something you want to avoid at all costs. Not only do these healthy habits help you live a longer, happier life, but they also serve as a great learning lesson for your kids, if you have them.

"Forty is the new 30 and more and more people are having children into their 40s. With young children comes more stress and less time for healthy habits and doctors visits," Krasilnikov says. "Remember that children learn best by example, so show them how important it is for you to brush and floss and that will instill good habits in them for life."

 

By Tehrene Firman

Author
Sonya Krasilnikov DDS Dr. Sonya Krasilnikov is the co-founder of Dental House.

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