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Senior Dental Care Tips

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senior dental care tips

Last Updated on November 3, 2021 by ashley.davis

Introduction

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 care tips for every older citizen out there. 

So, without further ado, let’s start brushing for oral hygiene. 

Reasons 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, a healthy mouth is an indication of a healthy lifestyle. Seniors can enjoy good food and eat better. 

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.

Tooth decay

Bacteria causes plaque in your teeth. This, in return, harms the tooth enamel and you will notice cavities in your tooth. Seniors are at high risk of tooth decay due to dry mouth. And the dry mouth is a side effect of asthma, depression or high blood pressure

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. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2 out of 3 seniors over 65 years old can have gum disease. And they might not even notice it in the first place

Did you know?

Tooth loss

Another common problem from not seeking dental help for seniors is tooth loss. Tooth loss can lead to malnutrition for seniors. This is because they are not able to eat properly when they don’t have enough teeth. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of 5 adults over 65 years have lost all their teeth

Key fact

Diabetes

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. Thus, seniors can also opt for sugar alternative foods for better oral health. 

Pneumonia

Smoking can deteriorate oral hygiene for older adults. This also increases the risks of bacterial pneumonia. And the bacteria can easily travel to the lungs causing several lung diseases. Thus they need dental assistance for senior citizens to prevent this from happening.

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.

7 Most Effective Senior Dental Care Tips

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. Here are 10 tips to keep your mouth and teeth in top shape.

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 going to senior dental care centers near you for regular checkups.

Follow a balanced diet

Just like any part of your body, your teeth also need proper nutrition. 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. 

Give up smoking

Tobacco chewing and smoking cigarettes or pipes can even cause dental cancer. So, it is high time you give up smoking. And trust me, you’re not alone in this. Your dentist can guide you through several techniques to stop smoking. 

Senior Dental Care Tips
Senior Dental Care Tips

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.

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. 

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.

According to The American Dental Association, seniors should replace the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months

Note

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. 

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. 

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 for 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. Visit the website: http://www.findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/ to find more information about them.

There are some dental clinics where students check patients with 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.

Conclusion

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. 

The senior dental care tips are focused on ensuring our seniors 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.

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