5 Dental Care Tips for Seniors
Proper dental hygiene is important to maintain as we get older. Seniors of ages 65 and above may experience several difficulties that come with an aging mouth when hygiene is neglected. This includes, but not limited to, dry mouth, root decay, a diminishing sense of taste, and loss of teeth. About 27% of seniors have no teeth remaining. Other oral health-related diseases that are more harmful are mouth cancer, which may be the result of years of smoking and drinking. In order to maintain a healthier mouth, seniors can take these 5 tips for good oral hygiene.
5 Tips for Seniors to Maintain Healthy Oral Hygiene
Brush Twice a Day (with an Electric Toothbrush)
The habit of brushing at least twice a day should be maintained and practice more than ever. Seniors may experience a boost of sensitivity in their teeth and gums, which may be the reason this practice is observed less and less. Arthritis, a condition that can restrict movement in the hands, could also play a factor. For these reasons, it is recommended to switch to an electric toothbrush in order to keep this up.
Always Floss After
There are parts of the teeth that your standard toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing well into the senior years makes sure that every surface in between your teeth stays clean and healthy.
Use Antiseptic Mouthwash
To maintain an overall healthy mouth, antiseptic mouthwash thoroughly rinses the bacteria lingering on the surfaces. Note that mouthwash cannot replace brushing and/or flossing.
Quit Bad Habits (Smoking and Frequent Drinking)
Vices at this stage of life may be more detrimental to one’s health in every aspect, including oral hygiene. Tobacco causes nicotine staining on teeth, which can contribute to bad breath, teeth and gum sensitivity, and a generally unsightly outward appearance. Alcohol consumption plays a role in dental erosion and inflammation of soft tissue in the mouth such as the tongue. If there was a better time to quit vices, it would be now.
Eat Nutritious Food
The type of food one eats contributes to one’s mouth health as well. Fast food, for example, is full of added salt and sugar. This factor makes food debris more likely to linger on teeth, which causes acid build-up on the surface.
To maintain good oral health, opt for homemade or freshly prepared food with less sugar and salt. Food, preferably fruits and vegetables, that are rich in fiber are one of the most recommendable for consumption. Calcium-rich food like milk and cheese can also boost oral health–to be eaten only if one is not too sensitive to dairy. Sweets and fast food should be eaten less as you get older. Giving it up completely would be ideal for senior citizens.
Visit the dentist more often to make sure you are on the right track with your dental hygiene. Due to the current situation, see if there is a way that you can book home services or schedule appointments days ahead to plan out a safe trip. Good overall health in every aspect is important to maintain during these times, especially as a senior citizen.