As you get older, natural changes in both your mouth and general health may put you at risk of dental problems. Gum problems, tooth sensitivity, tooth loss, and dryness of mouth are some common problems faced by seniors, which makes dental oral care all the more important for them. Many seniors may also not be able to maintain oral hygiene themselves due to old age. In such a case, they require the support of their family members to help them to take care of their oral hygiene. Enlisted here are some of the dental oral care tips for seniors:
1. Hydrate your Mouth
As you age, the capacity of the salivary glands to release saliva decreases. This results in a dry mouth. If the elderly member is on medication, then this could also be the cause behind dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role to keep your mouth moist and fight bacteria. Lack of saliva can lead to cavities, bad breath, and other dental issues. Drink as much water as you can as it helps to keep your mouth hydrated. You can even talk to your dentist about ways to keep your mouth hydrated that can prevent it from drying.
2. Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
Tooth decay is one of the most widespread oral malaise, especially among senior citizens. Thus, maintaining proper oral hygiene is extremely essential. It prevents the accumulation of plaque and food particles which helps bacterial colonies to thrive. Untreated plaque and cavities can result in gum disease like gingivitis and even tooth loss in seniors. Plus, gum diseases may also cause cardiac problems. The bacteria may enter the bloodstream and cause heart problems. Regular brushing and flossing can help eliminate these issues. In addition to that, you may approach an experienced dentist regularly.
4. Keep Removable Dentures Clean
If you or the elderly member wears a removable denture, then it is essential to clean it daily. It helps to prevent the accumulation of bacteria on your dentures that could otherwise increase your chance of encountering dental conditions. You can soak and brush your dentures with a soft-bristled brush. You can also use denture cleanser to remove food particles trapped in it.
5. Eat Healthy
As you age, overconsumption of sugary and junk foods like cakes, muffins, chips, etc., can drastically deteriorate your oral health. The bacteria in your mouth loves feeding on sugars, releasing acids, which erodes your tooth enamel and leads to tooth decay. You should be aware that alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are highly acidic in nature and it can erode your tooth enamel. Over consumption of tea, coffee, red wine, etc., can also stain your teeth. Boost your intake of calcium and vitamin-D. Try to have teeth-friendly foods like healthy veggies and fruits, and dairy products.
So, if you are experiencing age effects on your teeth or have an elderly member in your family, then do take these initial precautionary measures to avoid any severe dental health issues. In case, you need assistance, then you can consult a dentist.