People who keep their teeth and gums healthy with regular brushing may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life.

Researchers at the University of California followed 5,500 elderly people over an 18 year period and found those who brushed their teeth less than once a day were up to 65% more likely to develop the disease than those that brushed daily.

Gum disease related bacteria is implicated in a host of conditions including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It is thought that the bacteria might get into the brain, causing inflammation and brain damage.

Regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups are keys to physical and mental health as we age.