Maintaining oral hygiene and overall dental health is not something that stops at a certain age. It’s just as important for senior citizens to take charge of their oral health as it is for their younger counterparts to avoid issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bone loss. If you’re 65 or older, use these tips to continue smiling beautifully.
A Guide to Oral Hygiene for Seniors
1. Brush & Floss Every Day
Floss once daily and use a timer to brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day, for two minutes each time. Oral hygiene is extremely important as you age since your teeth and gums have undergone more wear and tear. Brush gently to avoid wearing down enamel and increasing your tooth sensitivity. If you have issues gripping your brush, consider an electronic version.
2. See Your Dentist Regularly
See your dentist every six months and let the dental health professional know about any changes to your mouth such as loosened teeth, receding gums, chewing and swallowing difficulties, sores and bumps, and bleeding issues. In addition to providing thorough examinations and cleanings, your dentist will offer oral hygiene tips — such as rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash — to help your mouth stay healthy.
3. Keep Dentures Clean, If Applicable
Use dentist-recommended cleaner to cleanse your dentures every day if you wear them. Dirty dentures full of bacteria can infect your gums and increase your risk of periodontal disease. Dirty dentures can also aggravate existing symptoms, such as open sores or blisters.
4. Drink Plenty Of Water
Aim to drink a gallon of water every day to avoid issues related to dry mouth. In addition to enhancing your overall health, proper hydration is good for your gums and smile. When the mouth is overly dry from medication side effects or simply a lack of water intake, it cannot produce the saliva necessary to flush away food particles and sugars. If excessive dry mouth is an issue, talk to your doctor about switching medications.
5. Limit Sugary Treats & Beverages
Enjoy a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of calcium to fortify your teeth. Reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages since they work with mouth bacteria to create decay-causing plaque and acids. If certain mouth-healthy foods such as carrots, celery, and apples have become difficult to chew, use a blender to turn the foods into healthy smoothies.
Age doesn’t have to affect your luminous smile. That’s why the compassionate team at Mammoth Spring Dental Clinic is committed to taking care of your teeth and teaching you how to maintain good oral hygiene habits. The family dentistry center has provided affordable dental care to residents of Fulton County, AR, since 1985. Whether you need an x-ray or regular teeth cleaning, they’ll ensure you feel comfortable at every visit. Call (870) 625-3262 to schedule an appointment today or visit the team online for more information on their services.