Caring for your teeth is important.
Oral hygiene is an important part of any person’s overall health. While as a senior you may no longer have to worry about braces or wisdom teeth extraction, there are still dental practices that you should consider. The importance of oral care in elderly people cannot be overstated, so following are ten tips to help keep your mouth healthy.
Schedule regular visits with your dentist.
Although it may seem costly or unnecessary, getting professional care for your teeth is very important. Prevention really is better than cure, and your dentist will be able to keep you informed of the state of your mouth and teeth, and hopefully catch any major issues before they impact your life too much. You may also choose to have a cleaning performed.
Invest in the best teeth-cleaning tools you can get.
Brush your teeth twice a day. Use a soft-bristled brush along with a fluoride toothpaste, and pay attention to your teeth, gums, and tongue.
Look after the gaps between your teeth.
Floss your teeth once a day. Maybe you’ll have carried this habit over from your youth, but if not, it’s easy to get into the habit of flossing. Flossing is an excellent way to remove build-up, and it will leave your mouth feeling much fresher.
Keep an eye out for warning signs.
Be aware of the warning signs that may indicate a bigger problem. These include symptoms like loose teeth, pain, and difficulty chewing. Your dentist should be able to go over these with you, and give you tips on how you can reduce your risk.
Use an antibacterial mouthwash once a day.
An antibacterial mouthwash will help to kill and prevent the spread of bacteria. A good mouthwash can also help impede gum disease and improve your breath.
Find ways to make brushing more comfortable.
Some people with arthritis or similar conditions may find the repetitive motions from brushing or flossing difficult. Look for innovative solutions, such as using a foam tube over your toothbrush, or a plastic floss holder to aid with flossing. Ask your dentist to suggest methods specific to your life and abilities.
Avoid smoking and eating too many sugary foods.
Smoking and excessive sugar intake can contribute to poor oral hygiene in both your teeth and gums. Cut these habits out as much as possible to guard against unnecessary decay.
Be open to change.
While it may seem scary to get dentures, or to have surgery or a procedure done to improve a problem you’re having, you will likely feel much better in the long term.
Understand the importance of oral hygiene.
Poor oral hygiene may affect your self-esteem (if it is causing you to have bad breath, for example) as well as cause problems with other health aspects – especially if your gums are in poor condition. Maintaining oral health is of particular importance to seniors, as problems caused by poor oral health can increase with age.
Be aware that you have options.
In this day and age, it’s not necessary to live with oral problems that cause you pain and difficulty. Many helpful products have been designed with seniors in mind, and today, there are plenty of options available.
The importance of particular dental practices for seniors will vary by person. Remember that everybody is different. The best thing you can do is plan with your dentist how best to manage your oral hygiene, and together, figure out your priorities and what works best for you.
Cloe hails from the charming South Island city of Dunedin, New Zealand. She loves being a freelancer and has enjoyed crafting articles for various sites, blogs and local businesses such as Tax Management New Zealand. Check out more of Cloe’s work here.