Taking care of your oral health is crucial as you age. Aside from aging, bad dental habits you pick up over the years also affect your current oral health. Taking certain steps to maintain your dental health can help prevent further complications. Dental Care Is Important-
However, age is not the only thing that determines the state of your oral health. Some medical conditions such as arthritis can make flossing and brushing teeth difficult or impossible. Paying extra attention and care to your dental health is especially helpful for patients suffering from these conditions.
Importance of Senior Dental Care
People over the age of 60 often experience dental health problems. While these issues can pose a serious risk to anyone, they are especially hazardous for seniors.
The good news is that dental clinics offer seniors a wide range of services that can help seniors overcome any oral problem.
Common Dental Issues Older Adults May Experience
While many dental problems can affect anyone, some of them are more common in seniors. Here are some of them:
- Bad breath: Gum or teeth infections can increase bacterial growth, resulting in bad breath.
- Tooth decay: As you age, your teeth may suffer from decay, causing them to break down and become easily infected. Your dentist will help you determine the
best way to strengthen and repair damaged teeth.
- Tooth loss: You may lose your teeth if you haven’t maintained good oral hygiene habits or suffer from gum disease. Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose your teeth. Your dentist can help!
- Darkened teeth: The dentin in your teeth changes as you get older, affecting your teeth’s color. Consult your dentist to learn how you can correct darkened teeth.
- Decaying root: You may experience receding gums as you age, leading to root decay. Regular visits to the dentist will help them catch gum problems early.
5 Dental Care Tips for Seniors
- Don’t skip the dental floss.
Seniors should floss their teeth daily as it is the best way to remove food particles. Regular flossing is good for your health and helps prevent infections from bacteria and decay.
Sometimes it can be difficult for seniors to use dental floss. You can fix this issue with floss picks or a dental floss holder.
- Include mouthwash in your dental hygiene regimen.
Mouthwash is one way to maintain a clean and healthy mouth. However, some rinses can cause dryness and affect the pH balance of the mouth. People over 60 are also more prone to dry mouth.
For older patients, dentists recommend limiting the amount of mouthwash they use. Rinse with water or alcohol-free mouthwash after meals or before bed when you need to wash your mouth.
- Avoid smoking tobacco.
Seniors should quit smoking to ensure that they get the best chance to protect their mouths and teeth. Smokers are at greater risk for gum disease and mouth infection than nonsmokers.
Aside from the harmful side effects of tobacco on your mouth, it can also affect your
overall health. Your risk of developing a dental infection is greater if you smoke a lot. For seniors to live a healthier life, they should break bad habits. Whether it is cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, smoking is dangerous for your health.
- Opt for water instead of soda.
The best and most cost-effective way to ensure your health is to drink water. Drinking water every day helps boost your immune system and maintain your oral health.
Senior citizens replace sugary drinks with water. Too many sodas and sugary drinks can lead to acidity in your mouth, causing cavities and tooth damage. Drinking water instead of soda will give your body more health benefits than you could ever imagine.
- Monitor the dental side effects of medications you’re taking.
Making sure any medication you take doesn’t cause adverse effects on your dental health is essential. For example, certain medications can cause dry mouth. It isn’t a simple condition; it could lead to severe dental problems, such as gum disease and increased tooth decay.
When you receive a prescription for a new medication, consult your dentist about whether this is the right medication for you. Always report any odd or unusual changes to your dentist as soon as possible.
The Bottom Line
It’s important to make sure you have regular dental appointments. Your dentist can help you identify signs and prevent common issues seniors may face. It is never too late for you to take charge of your dental health.
Aside from regular visits to a Treasure Island dentist, it’s ideal for seniors to include mouthwash and flossing in their daily dental hygiene routine. They should also avoid smoking and sugary drinks; it’s better to drink water. Lastly, seniors should also watch out for medications with side effects that affect their oral health.