Sep 28 2021

Proper Dental Care Tips For Seniors

Posted by Stacey Foster in Uncategorized

Smiling senior citizenSeniors are often at a higher risk for dental problems because they have less saliva, more tooth decay, and gum disease. All of these can lead to other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Thus, seniors should never disregard a visit to a dentist. 

If you are around the area, New Jersey Emergency Dentists are always ready to help should you decide to contact one after reading this article. In the meantime, here are some tips on how you can maintain your dental health even after retirement.


Why Is Proper Dental Care Important To Seniors?

Having good dental health at any age is important for maintaining a healthy body. But when people get older, their immune systems often weaken or fail them to the point where they are no longer able to fight off infection as easily as they did when younger. Dental infections can lead to pulmonary infections, which in turn lead to other problems with vital organs like your heart and lungs.

Furthermore, people who are older than 65 years old have an increased risk of cavities or gum disease because of changes in their mouths from aging. Older adults may also be prescribed certain medications with side effects that could change their saliva flow. As a result, they may not have healthy teeth and gums because they lack the saliva needed to fight infection.

Even so, there are ways for the elderly to still maintain healthy oral care. Here are some tips to take note of!


Pay Regular Visits To Your Dentist

Regular visits to the dentist, more so if you’re a senior, are important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. By going in for regular checkups, your dentist can identify problems like cavities or gum disease before they get too out of hand. Regular hygiene habits and regular dental visits go together like peanut butter and jelly – you can’t have one without the other.


Floss And Brush Daily

You may find it challenging to maintain proper dental hygiene due to more sensitive teeth, less dexterity in your hands, and difficulty with visual cues. However, brushing and flossing daily can still provide many benefits. Brushing is important because it removes the plaque that can lead to gum disease or tooth decay. Flossing helps keep mouth bacteria suppressed at bay, which is also important for avoiding tooth decay and gum disease. 

Giving up on dental hygiene could lead to a difficult time during an emergency dentist visit or even just feeling self-conscious when meeting new people. Implementing these basic, preventive measures will go a long way in maintaining good oral health for seniors.


Use Mouthwash

There are many different types of mouthwashes out there, but the most important thing is that you use one every day. Mouthwash can help fight plaque and gingivitis, which are both major problems for seniors with any teeth remaining in their mouths. Make sure that your mouthwash is alcohol-free for sensitive teeth.


Increase Calcium Intake

Calcium is important for several reasons and one of them is its contribution to bone health. It plays an integral part in preserving and strengthening bone density, which can be lost over time with poor nutrition. Seniors might want to consider calcium supplements because the natural intake of calcium may not be sufficient to maintain healthy bones.


Stop Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst enemies to health, and this is especially true for seniors. Smoking can lead to many issues such as mouth cancer and gum disease. This in turn can lead to tooth loss, which happens in around 40% of smokers. In addition, smoking can cause other chronic diseases that are not typically seen in those who don’t smoke, such as diabetes.


Consume Less Sugar

A diet high in sugar can lead to many problems for seniors, such as tooth decay, bone weakness, and diabetes. By consuming less sugar, you may be able to prevent these problems. The US Department of Health and Human Services has a daily recommended limit for the amount of sugar that should be consumed per day: no more than 10% of your total calories.


Hydrate Properly

The importance of hydration for seniors’ dental health cannot be emphasized enough. Water is a critical part of the diet (and your oral hygiene routine). Diluted fruit juice can also help keep your mouth wet longer – but make sure you don’t overdo it. Drinking water helps wash away bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease and protects against plaque buildup. It’s also important to choose water that’s fluoridated as this mineral strengthens teeth and boosts saliva for a natural buffer.


Final Thoughts

Many seniors are unaware of the importance of dental care. This can lead to tooth loss and other oral health problems that increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. The best way to prevent these issues is through proper dental hygiene practices like brushing regularly with fluoride-free toothpaste or mouthwash every day. If you don’t have teeth anymore, dentures may be an option as well.


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