Maintaining good dental health is very important for seniors. Daily brushing and other dental hygiene practices will help seniors keep their natural teeth strong and prevent cavities. It also will help seniors with dentures avoid gum disease and other dental problems. Good dental health is linked to good physical health. Personal care at home services are designed to help seniors maintain their personal hygiene and their dignity.
But sometimes as seniors get older brushing their teeth and keeping up oral hygiene becomes difficult. It can be tough for seniors to grip a toothbrush or pick up a mouthwash bottle. Flossing also can be hard for seniors with poor grip strength. With personal care at home seniors will get the support they need to practice good hygiene daily. Some of the things that seniors can do for good dental hygiene are:
Get Regular Dental Checkups
Seniors should visit their dentist regularly, typically every six months, for checkups and cleanings. Dental professionals can detect and address issues early, preventing more significant problems later on. Most insurance plans cover two dental cleanings per year for seniors, and it’s important seniors get those professional cleanings and checkups.
Brush Teeth Twice A Day
Seniors should continue to brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush. Proper brushing helps remove plaque, preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Flossing is essential for removing food particles and plaque from between teeth and along the gumline. Seniors should make flossing a daily habit to maintain healthy gums and prevent cavities. Personal care at home and adaptive devices can make it easier for seniors to floss.
An antimicrobial mouthwash can help reduce the risk of gum disease and provide extra protection against bacteria. Seniors should consult their dentist to choose an appropriate mouthwash. Mouthwashes can help prevent dental infections.
Dehydration can contribute to many health problems that seniors experience, including cavities and gum disease. Drinking plenty of water helps maintain saliva production, which is essential for washing away bacteria and food particles in the mouth. Dry mouth can lead to dental problems, so seniors should aim to stay well-hydrated.
Avoid Tobacco Products
There are many reasons why seniors shouldn’t smoke, including better dental health. Smoking or using smokeless tobacco can lead to oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth loss. Seniors should quit smoking or using tobacco products to protect their oral and overall health.
Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods
Sugary and acidic foods and beverages can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Seniors should limit their intake of soda, candies, and acidic fruits and opt for healthier options.
Wear a Mouthguard
If seniors are involved in sports or have a habit of grinding their teeth (bruxism), they should consider wearing a mouthguard to protect their teeth from injury and damage.
Some medications can have side effects that impact oral health, such as dry mouth or gum problems. Seniors should discuss these side effects with their healthcare provider and dentist, who can suggest strategies to mitigate them. There are also mouthwashes that can help prevent dry mouth caused by medication.
Maintain Dentures or Dental Implants
If seniors have dentures or dental implants, they should follow their dentist’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance. Regular checkups are also important to ensure a proper fit. Professional cleaning and good gum care are also important to prevent infections or damage to the gums.
Consider Fluoride Treatments
Seniors with a higher risk of tooth decay may benefit from fluoride treatments, which can help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the risk of cavities. Seniors should talk to their dentists about fluoride treatments.