Dental hygiene is vital for people of any age. But senior dental care has no competition at all. Your oral health should be a top priority, along with other health issues. And that’s why you need to know about senior dental care tips.
Thus, it would be best if you took different measures to keep your teeth healthy. This article focuses on the importance of dental care in seniors. And in the end, we have enlisted 7 effective dental tips for seniors out there.
Are you ready to start brushing for oral hygiene? Let’s get into it!
Why Senior Dental Care Should Be a Priority?
Routine dental care is absolutely crucial for every senior. It can help prevent common dental problems. Also, Healthy mouths are the result of healthy lifestyles. So if they want to enjoy good food, senior dental care must be part of their daily lives.
Thus, senior dental care is an integral part of their daily lives. Here are a few reasons why you need to make oral hygiene a top priority right away.
1. Tooth decay
The bacteria in your mouth causes plaque which attacks the tooth enamel and makes cavities more likely. Seniors are at high risk for dental problems because they often have dry mouths that promote caries, or decayed teeth. Also, the dry mouth is a side effect of asthma, depression or high blood pressure.
2. Gum disease
Another name for severe gum disease is periodontitis. Such a tooth issue can cause bleeding, sore tooth, chewing issues, tooth loss and other problems. You will need to have a proper dental care plan to prevent gum disease from ever occurring.
3. Tooth loss
Another common problem from not seeking dental help for seniors is tooth loss. That happens because it becomes difficult to eat due to the tooth loss.
Controlling blood sugar is absolutely necessary for seniors and dental care. Their chances of inflammation and gum disease increase due to this. The reason is that too much sugar helps bacteria to grow inside the mouth. . So, opting for sugar alternative food items can be beneficial for an improved oral health.
Smoking can deteriorate oral hygiene for older adults. And the lungs are a delicate organ, and if bacteria get in there, it can cause some serious lung disease. Thus they need dental assistance for senior citizens to prevent this from happening.
6. Oral cancer
Older adults are at a massive risk of oral cancer. And the risks are even higher for seniors with the habit of chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes. They need dental treatment immediately to detect and prevent oral cancer.
What Are the 7 Most Effective Dental Tips for Seniors?
Taking care of your teeth is essential when you get old. Going to the dentist is the most critical thing you can do. Apart from that, there are several other things to maintain as well. Follow these 7 dental care tips to keep your mouth healthy.
1. Regular dentist checkup
We know going to the dentist can be expensive. But as you age, so does your vulnerability increase to tooth decay. You will face many problems related to your teeth. So, consider checking out some senior centers in your area for a reliable source of dental care at affordable rates.
2. Follow a balanced diet
Your teeth are just like any other part of your body and they need proper nutrition too. You can escape gum and cavity problems if you maintain a balanced diet. This can include healthy snacks, non-acidic fruits, green vegetables and lean protein.
3. Give up smoking
Tobacco chewing and smoking is not only bad for your teeth but it could also lead to cancer. So, it is high time you give up smoking. And trust me, you’re not alone in this. Your dentist has many techniques that can help you stop smoking.
4. Denture and implant care
Your natural teeth will no longer be there as you grow old. It is quite normal, really! So, you may have a denture or implant in your teeth. A proper dental care plan involves taking care of dentures and implants as well.
You can clean the denture by removing and brushing them with a toothbrush. You can also do the same thing for the implants. Just don’t try to remove them! Instead, brush your teeth and floss the implant with extra care.
5. Use antibacterial mouthwash
Germs and bacteria can build gum, plaque and tooth loss inside the mouth. So, in this step, consider using a mouthwash regularly. The mouthwash you use should have antibacterial properties. Use mouthwash every time you brush and floss your teeth.
6. Use a proper toothbrush
Are you using the same brand and style of toothbrush forever now? You should consider changing it soon. A lot of your dental care plan revolves around the toothbrush you use.
Consider using a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles. This will help you get to the corners of your mouth. You can also find many products approved by professional dentists.
7. Stay hydrated and avoid dry mouth
As you know already, dry mouth is the cause of many dental problems. And older adults are more prone to dry mouth than anyone else. So, avoiding it is the least thing you can do for dental care.
The best way to avoid dry mouth is to be hydrated. So drink as much water as possible throughout the day. And we would recommend NOT including alcohol as drinkable water in your list.
You can also consider chewing sugar-free gum. It will help create saliva in your mouth. Thus, you can prevent your mouth from drying out.
How to Find Dental Care Near You?
Are you looking for senior dental care near me? Now that you know the dental care tips, you must be searching for dental care centers. But, don’t worry, you should find one easily!
But what to do for dental care for seniors without insurance? Medicare will not cover the expenses. And some states have limitations on Medicaid coverage. So, you would have to check several options around you.
The first thing to check is- free dental care for seniors near me. Websites such as the Health Resources & Services Administration has more information about them.
There are some dental clinics where students check patients at low costs. Professional dentists supervise those students. You can visit the NIDCR website for more details.
Many dental hygiene schools also offer low-cost services for seniors. Check out your state-listed schools online.
You can also call your state health department to find nearby dental clinics.
Everyone deserves a healthy smile. But, as seniors, this does come at a price! And the price is taking good care of your dental care routine.
Senior dental care is an essential aspect of senior living. There are many risks associated with an unhygienic mouth. Everyone should give more priority to dental hygiene to prevent different oral health problems.
These dental tips for seniors are focused on ensuring our elderly loved ones look the best when they smile. Also, older people can eat better and healthier food with quality teeth. All in all, healthy and quality teeth can make lives better for people of any age.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Medicaid Cover Dentures for Seniors?
Unfortunately, Medicaid doesn’t cover the cost of dentures in most states. However, there are a handful states where it does cover some of the cost of dentures. The coverage for dental care in those states varies depending on what criteria you meet.
What Are the Best Dental Insurance Plans for Seniors?
The best insurance plans for seniors depend on a number of factors. For example, if you are looking for affordable dental insurance plans, then Cigna would be the appropriate choice. But overall, Anthem and United Healthcare are better choices even though the cost is a little higher. Anthem has wide coverage benefits and decent waiting times, while United Healthcare has access to AARP benefits and offers Medicare Advantage plans. Apart from that, Guardian and Aetna are good options too. Guardian has zero waiting period for preventive care and six months for other basic plans, and no deductibles for in-network beneficiaries. Aetna is the best choice for national coverage with a huge network, and they even deliver prescription drugs at home.
Is It Safe for Seniors to Go to the Dentist?
Though there are some safety concerns for seniors to visit dentists during the Covid-19 pandemic, most dental clinics and offices take safety measures to ensure patients feel comfortable. So, it is safe for seniors to go to the dentist. In fact, it is recommended to visit them once every six months to prevent any gum disease or other oral complications. However, make sure to call the dental office to learn about their COVID-19 protocol before making an appointment.