As we grow old many of our movements can become very stiff and limited. With the age, it is also common to develop different conditions that affect mobility such as arthritis which makes everyday routines like brushing, a little harder. This is why it is not strange that older adults have more oral health problems.
Oral hygiene is extremely important at any age to enjoy good oral health and have a great quality of life. Having good dental hygiene can prevent gum disease and tooth decay, as well as other more complicated diseases like oral cancer.
Here we will give you some tips on geriatric oral health to help the elderly take care of their teeth correctly. Remember that dental health is important even if you use a denture, dental implants, or crowns. You need to take care of these the same way we clean natural teeth.
Don’t forget that having a consistent routine dental care that will help us get rid of bacteria and avoid issues that can affect our overall health.
Having good oral hygiene reflects on our overall health
Our oral hygiene has a lot to do with the health of the entire body and that is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep our teeth healthy. Tooth decay and gum disease are both caused by plaque and harmful bacteria that build up in the mouth, so poor dental hygiene can lead to bleeding gums, severe gum disease, and tooth loss.
The worst thing is that when a dental disease is not treated it can evolve into serious problems. Having missing teeth affect nutrition since the mouth is the start of the digestive system, and it is proven people with gum disease have an increased risk of developing heart disease.
The good news is that having a good oral health routine can prevent all these problems. Elderly patients who use full or partial dentures need to pay attention to their dental hygiene as much as those who have all their teeth.
It is a lot harder for older adults with physical disabilities or medical conditions that affect mobility to take good care of their mouths so if you have an elderly person in your family here is everything you need to know to help them have good dental care.
Use electric toothbrushes instead of manual ones
One of the best items an older person can have in their bathroom is an electric toothbrush. The electric toothbrush allows elderly people to effortlessly clean their teeth. They can cost a little bit but if you are willing to make the investment you are not going to regret it.
One of the strongest points of the electric toothbrush is that is easy to use so it can be very helpful for people with age-related mobility problems. This tool will reduce the chances of having poor dental health problems since the vibration and oscillation movements remove the bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.
Just remember to complete your dental care routine with dental floss and mouthwash. Just by using dental floss and a good mouthwash, you will avoid diseases like cavities and gingivitis.
Take into account that even if you have some kind of teeth replacement you can still build up plaque. So having a good dental care routine is a must to preserve your new teeth in the best condition.
Always use a soft toothbrush
Choosing a toothbrush with soft bristles is essential to protect the tooth enamel and not harm the gums. Advancing age, some medications, and health problems can make the gums and soft tissues of the mouth more sensitive so it is essential to avoid causing any harm.
Hard toothbrushes can cause small cuts in the gums and for older adults with diabetes, this can lead to an infection, bleeding, swelling, gum disease, root decay, and more. Choose a toothbrush that is approved by the American Dental Association.
Seniors should brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Remember that plaque builds also in dentures so it is necessary to brush them too. Brushing the tongue is also important to get rid of all the bacteria and avoid any poor dental health issues.
Make sure that your dentures fit well
Ill-fitting dentures can also harm the gums and cause pain so if you wear dentures make and feel discomfort when eating or speaking, visit your dentist to improve the fitting. This will help you avoid dental problems and be more comfortable.
Keep a good and healthy diet
Another thing elder people can do to take care of their teeth is to eat well. A nice diet will give them enough nutrients to keep their natural teeth and help their gums to stay strong and healthy. Eating citrus fruits like lemons and oranges can get your body the vitamin it needs to stay healthy and boost your teeth’ defenses.
As for natural teeth, it is also good to ingest apples and pears because it helps to clean the teeth naturally. Those fruits are perfect for a sweet treat and avoid ingesting too much sugar.
Aside from this, you should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol at all costs because they are really rough on elderly teeth.
Have regular dental check-ups
Visiting the dentist at least two times per year is recommended for people of all ages. Older adults should never miss their check-ups because dental problems tend to advance faster under certain conditions and medicines.
If you notice any sign of a problem, like dry mouth, pain when chewing or swallowing, or inflammation, contact your dentist as soon as possible to get the proper dental treatment and avoid complications.
During your visit to the dental office, your doctor will perform a professional cleaning that will help prevent gum disease and periodontitis, check the condition of the jaw bones, and make a diagnosis if there is any problem or affected tooth. This way you can have a beautiful smile and great health.
If you are interested in cheap teeth replacement visit us in Dental Solutions Los Algodones to get the best prices on dentures, implants, and crowns. Our specialty is the all-on-4 treatment which is a cheap alternative to having a new set of teeth.