Dental Health for Seniors: Keeping You Smiling At Your Neighbors
We love to see smiling residents greeting each other around The Gardens at Barry Road assisted living community, which is why we encourage all our residents to take time for good dental health and hygiene.
As you age, you may face dental health challenges that aren't as common for those of younger years. If we're being honest, teeth simply don't seem made to withstand the same number of years that the rest of our body can. But whether you're dealing with all-original chompers or a variation of bridges and dentures, you can take action to make your smile the best it can be.
Oral Health Issues Common With Age
As you age, you might contend with mouth-related problems that are unfamiliar to you. Luckily, many of these issues are common, and your dentist and other healthcare professionals can offer some relief and remedy. Common issues might include:
- Wear and tear on your teeth. If you still have original teeth, you've been putting them to work for decades. Over time, the enamel that protects your teeth wears down, leaving your chompers vulnerable to cavities.
- Decaying roots. The same type of wear and tear and simple aging can make you more susceptible to root decay or problems with your gums.
- Dry mouth. Commonly used medications can lead to dry mouth, something many seniors deal with.
- Issues with dentures or bridges. If you've had implants or have bridges or dentures, you can deal with fitting and maintenance issues.
Tips for Maintaining Oral Health
Many of these common senior dental health issues can be treated or even avoided by maintaining good oral health and working closely with your dentist.
It's obviously important to see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, and brushing at least twice a day and flossing once is still as important as it was when you learned about it in grade school. But you can take a few other actions to help safeguard your dental health.
- Chew sugar-free gum if possible to promote saliva, which naturally cleans the teeth and helps prevent dry mouth.
- Talk to your dentist about the right mouthwash for you. Antibacterial mouthwash is no longer synonymous with stinging, alcohol-based liquids, and the right product can help you fight plaque in just a few seconds a day.
- Quit your tobacco habit. Tobacco stains the teeth and has been linked with risks of cancer in the mouth as well as numerous other health issues.
- Ask your dental professional about the best ways to care for dentures or implants to ensure they remain viable long term and don't negatively impact the health of the rest of your mouth.
Taking regular steps to maintain oral hygiene goes a long way to protecting your smile, but make sure to consult your dentist if you're worried about any issues such as pain in your mouth or teeth, sensitivity to cold or heat in your teeth, bleeding in your mouth or loose teeth.
And if you need assistance in caring for your oral health, talk to one of our compassionate staff members today.
Posted on Tue, October 9, 2018
by Shawn Deane