To ensure good health even in old age, one of the most important components is proper oral care. With proper oral care, periodontal disease — which is often linked to flare-ups of cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and cancer (illnesses that commonly plague the elderly) — can be prevented.
Here are 10 important oral care tips for seniors that a trusted dentist in Sterling Heights, MI strongly recommends:
- Daily brushing is a must – even for those who wear full dentures. Brush twice a day to keep the mouth free from bacteria.
- Floss once a day. For those who still have most of their original teeth, flossing is imperative in preventing calcular deposits from resulting in tooth decay.
- Switch to “sensitive teeth and gums” products. Stop using those hard bristle toothbrushes and switch to soft bristle ones. Also, if flossing is proving to be tricky, switch from traditional dental floss to air floss. This air floss is better for people with compromised fine motor skills; it releases jet streams of water to dislodge food particles between teeth without hurting the gums.
- Use the right toothpaste formula. For those with dry mouth, it’s better to use a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for it.
- Visit the dentist regularly. Older folks are more prone to oral cancer, so it’s imperative to go to the dentist on a regular schedule for oral screening, cleaning, and other necessary treatments. It’s important to make dental visits regularly as well to make sure that gum recession is addressed. Gum recession is highly likely for older people and this can expose teeth roots, making teeth hyper sensitive.
- Use special mouth rinse products to maintain the healthy pH balance of the mouth, as well as keep breath fresh.
- Quit smoking. For those who still can’t kick the habit, it’s crucial to do so as soon as possible. Smoking not only dehydrates the mouth, which makes it the perfect environment for bacteria growth, but it can create other health issues as well.
- Improve diet. Bread is an enemy because it can contribute to the fast development of plaque and tartar. Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals to keep gums and teeth healthy.
- Drink water often. This will do the body a lot of good and it can help flush out bacteria from the mouth and maintain healthy pH levels.
- Chew a freshening, sugar-free gum after eating. This will stimulate the salivary glands to produce more saliva to maintain the mouth’s appropriate pH level, and at the same time, more saliva in the mouth will help dislodge food debris between teeth and gums.
There you have it — 10 oral care tips for a healthy mouth. Seniors are advised to follow them all consistently in order to effectively prevent oral health woes.