Oral Hygiene and Seniors – 5 Ways to Keep Their Teeth Clean and Strong
Caregiver in Plainsboro NJ
Dentures are no longer a necessity for the elder population, thanks to modern dental technology, oral hygiene products, and more advanced education. These days, more and more seniors are keeping their original teeth much longer than they used to because older adults are eating better and taking the steps to keep their teeth clean.
The first step to better oral hygiene is to get regular dental checkups. Elders who are unable to drive themselves can ask family caregivers or elder care professionals to provide transportation to these appointments. Aside from seeing the dentist, there are several ways older adults can keep their teeth healthy and clean for years to come.
- Avoid smoking. Along with a high risk of throat and mouth cancer, lung cancer, heart disease, and other health conditions, smoking can ruin your loved one’s teeth. It can cause the teeth to decay at a rapid rate and will leave them with a yellowed tint. Chewing tobacco can also be just as dangerous to your loved ones oral health, so all tobacco products should be avoided.
- Increase hydration. Some medications can cause dry mouth, leading to tooth decay. Your loved one should discuss this problem with their doctor to see if there are alternative medications that can be taken instead. If changing medications is not possible, drinking plenty of water throughout the day will give the body the hydration it needs. Also, elders with dry mouth should avoid any stimulants that could dehydrate them, such as caffeine and alcohol.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can do wonderful things to protect a person’s teeth by acting as a shield against decay and gum disease. Fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride mouthwash should be included in your loved one’s oral hygiene regime in order to keep their pearly whites strong and long-lasting.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash. Using an antibacterial mouthwash will help reduce the buildup of plaque, while also reducing the risk of gum disease and gingivitis.
- Try an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. Elders may experience a loss of enamel because the gums naturally recede over time. Eating cold or hot food may cause pain to shoot through your teeth and roots. Cold air may also have this same effect. To combat the side effects of sensitive teeth, try anti-sensitivity toothpaste. If that does not help reduce the pain, elders should visit the dentist to see if there are other issues taking place in their mouth.
These tips, along with brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing once a day, will keep your loved ones teeth clean and strong for years to come.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Plainsboro, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.