Oral care is critical for any age. As we get older, dental hygiene becomes even more critical. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 17% of seniors aged above 65 suffer with periodontal disease.
To prevent losing your natural teeth and prevent gum disease and decay, here are few dental tips for older people:
Start by Practicing Proper Dental Care
This is quite obvious yet neglected. Brushing and flossing is of utmost importance, when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is what American Dental Association also recommends. Brushing for 2-3 minutes on both the upper and lower teeth is extremely effective.
Brushing for too long is not an issue. The issue is about applying too much pressure that leads to abrasion of the enamel and the gum tissue, thereby leading to tooth sensitivity. Dentists often recommend using non-dominant hand to brush.
Analyze Your Toothbrush
Toothbrush must be replaced within a certain period of time. If you have been using the same brand and style of toothbrush since long, it’s time to replace it. With so many toothbrush types available in the market, it becomes important to choose the right one for your teeth. Ask your dental professional what type of toothbrush you should be using during years of senior living.
The ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. If the bacteria on teeth resides after eating, it could lead to serious problems like Gingivitis.
ADA also recommends flossing your teeth on a daily basis. It is the most effective tooth for cleaning tight spaces between your teeth. Other alternatives to the same are Waterpiik or oral pulsating irrigator but it is not as effective as floss. Dental floss holder and disposable floss picks are yet another brilliant choices to opt.
Get Rid of Tobacco
Compared to non smokers, smokers have twice the risk of gum disease. Smoking not only weakens your immune system but also makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. The longer and frequent one smokes, the greater the risk of periodontal disease. At a severe stage, treatments may not work as well for people who smoke, therefore it is suggested to quit smoking and look for a professional expert who can help you towards an improved oral health.
Watch Out for Dry Mouth
As one gets older, they may experience changes to their body. One of them is a dry mouth. Talk to your dentist about the medications you are taking. There are times when taking excessive medications lead to dry mouth.
Other than this, you can chew sugar free gum and drink more water to get rid of dry mouth.
Visit Your Dentist
Last but not the least, visiting your dentist is one ideal solution that turns out to be effective in the long run. Visiting your dentist every 6 months helps, therefore, we recommend getting one.