Touching Hearts at Home is pleased to welcome Carlye Wilson as our new Administrative Assistant!
Oral Hygiene Tips All Seniors Need To Know
Oral hygiene is very important for seniors. Having good oral hygiene can help seniors keep their natural teeth as they get older. And oral hygiene can also impact seniors’ overall health as they age. Gum disease, tooth decay, and untreated periodontal disease can increase the risks of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes in seniors. They can also make chronic conditions like diabetes harder to treat. Seniors who have a hard time maintaining good oral hygiene should consider elder care services so that a care provider can help them with oral hygiene tasks.
Elder care can be a big help to seniors who want to age in place but need additional support.
Seniors should also use these oral hygiene tips to protect their teeth and gums while improving their oral health and overall physical health:
Get Regular Dental Checkups
Seniors should continue to see their dentist for regular checkups, ideally every six months. These visits can help identify and address oral health issues early, preventing them from becoming more severe. Seniors with chronic conditions like diabetes may also need thorough dental cleanings every six months.
Clean Dentures and Dental Appliances
For seniors with dentures or other dental appliances, it’s essential to keep them clean. Dentures should be removed and cleaned daily to remove food particles and bacteria. This practice prevents irritation and infection in the mouth. Elder care can help seniors keep their dentures and appliances clean and sanitary.
Practice Proper Denture Care
When handling dentures, seniors should be careful not to drop them, as they can break easily. Dentures should be soaked in a cleaning solution and brushed gently with a soft-bristle brush to remove debris and plaque.
Seniors should brush their natural teeth, gums, and tongue gently but thoroughly twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. If dexterity is an issue, consider using an electric toothbrush with soft bristles, which is easier on the gums.
Flossing is essential to remove food particles and plaque between teeth. For seniors with dexterity challenges, using floss picks or water flossers can make the process more accessible.
Rinse with an Antiseptic Mouthwash
Seniors can incorporate an antiseptic or fluoride mouthwash into their oral hygiene routine. These products can help reduce bacteria, fight bad breath, and strengthen tooth enamel.
Proper hydration is vital for maintaining oral health. Seniors should drink plenty of water to keep their mouth moist and help prevent dry mouth, which can lead to dental issues.
Avoid Tobacco Products
Seniors who smoke or use other tobacco products should strongly consider quitting. Smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to oral health problems. Seniors should moderate their alcohol intake to protect their oral health.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products is crucial for overall health and oral hygiene. Certain nutrients, like calcium and vitamin D, are essential for strong teeth and bones.
Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods
Seniors should limit their intake of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, as these can contribute to tooth decay and erosion. If consumed, it’s important to rinse the mouth with water afterward.
Be Mindful of Medications
Many medications can have side effects that impact oral health, such as causing dry mouth or gum problems. Seniors should discuss these concerns with their healthcare provider and dentist to find solutions or alternatives.
Address Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is a common issue for seniors and can lead to dental problems. Seniors can try sugar-free gum, lozenges, or artificial saliva products to help alleviate dry mouth symptoms.
Use A Mouthguard
For seniors who grind their teeth or clench their jaws (bruxism), a custom mouthguard can protect their teeth from excessive wear and potential damage.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Bellevue TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Rutherford, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.
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