Dental Care Tips For Senior Citizens

Dental care tips for senior citizens

It is absolutely impossible to be at one’s best physical health without good dental health. Oral health is as important as physical health, regardless of the stage of life one may be in. Be it a 10-year-old kid or a 65-year-old grandpa; oral health is just as important. Nevertheless, a senior citizen’s dental care has many facets that need intricate attention. A popular myth is that no matter how much attention one pays, a human is bound to lose teeth pretty quickly when he/she crosses 65. That is not true! Teeth do stay strong and beautiful for very long, provided they are taken care of. For a kid, a little bit of damage to the teeth or gums could be reversed with treatment but at old age that is not easy. Senior citizens would definitely need dentures if they their teeth condition has worsened due to age and various other reasons.

Tips for taking care of teeth and other dental matters for seniors
Here are a few ‘must know’ dental tips for our seniors:

  • Brush and floss
    Some rules are same for all. “Brush twice a day” is the most prevalent advice- once in the morning after waking up and once at night, before you go to sleep. Teeth must be brushed gently. Undue force must be avoided. Flossing is often neglected by many. The act of ‘brushing’ must be complemented with ‘flossing.’ It is a very simple yet necessary exercise.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks
    As the name goes, these drinks contain carbonic acid, which is harmful to the teeth. They also have many other components injurious to health- oral or otherwise. Tooth decay, in general, is caused when bacteria in the mouth use up the sugar present in food and drinks to produce acids that corrode or damage the teeth and gums. Soft drinks have high sugar content. They should avoid, or if impossible, the intake must definitely be limited.
  • Tidy dentures for seniors
    Many dentures for seniors, either removable or fixed is available. The denture for seniors needs to be cleaned properly. Accumulation of food debris or bacteria, resulting from the same may cause gum diseases. Gum diseases spread quickly, if left untreated and could accelerate into an advanced stage called ‘periodontal disease.’ To prevent this from happening, dentures must be kept clean.
  • Increased hydration
    Water is a basic necessity for any human being. Keeping yourself hydrated ensures smooth functioning of the body. It is observed that many seniors take in very less water. They must keep themselves hydrated at all times. This prevents the mouth from going dry and simultaneously wades off bad breath/ odor. Sometimes, a particular medicine that is often consumed may adversely affect the mouth. Certain medications may decrease the saliva production in the mouth and leave a dry mouth one must be cautious and be careful enough to watch out for any side effects. If any, a doctor must be consulted immediately, and an alternative medicine must be asked for.
  • Quit smoking
    It is a known fact that smoking is extremely injurious to health. Tobacco can seriously affect oral health too. It tends to stain teeth, diminish the ability of your taste buds and leave a bad breath. This can cause tooth decay and gum diseases within no time, especially in seniors. It could cause mouth cancer too. In short, the ill effects of smoking are plenty. It is not worth taking a risk. Smoking must be avoided at all costs. It might be difficult for a habitual smoker. A doctor can be consulted to help one quit smoking.
  • Increased fluoridation
    Fluoride keeps the teeth healthy. As senior citizens are more susceptible to tooth decay, they need increased fluoridation- either in the form of toothpaste or usage of fluoride mouthwashes.
  • Time for implants
    Many seniors lose their teeth, mostly due to negligence, decay or just wear and tear. That is understandable; The fact that many just ignore it and get on with life is saddening. Without teeth, it becomes impossible to chew, eat or enjoy your favorite foods. If the missing teeth aren’t replaced by dentures, there is also a chance of developing an uneven jaw bone. This happens because the remaining teeth tend to drift and shit in the spaces left by the missing teeth. It’s never too late to get teeth implants!
  • Visit the doctor
    A periodic visit to the dentist is a must. As already mentioned, individuals who are 60 and above are more vulnerable and more susceptible to decay. A simple visit to the dentist will help identify if and when any such situation arises so that adequate measures can be taken to nip it in its bud. Some might even have options open for visiting a clinic which offers free dentures for seniors and young ones as well as free treatments.

A smile is probably the first thing that is noticed in a person. Aging must never be a hindrance to flashing that beautiful smile of yours. Aging is a natural process. It is, was and never will be in our hands. Aging gracefully, on the contrary, is definitely in our hands. Eat to heart’s content and keep your mouth clean. That ought to be a perfect start, ain’t it?

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