Maintaining good oral health is essential for overall well-being, and with proper care, you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums well into your golden years.
1) Brush and floss
The rule "brush twice a day" still applies, and is arguably more important for older folks.
Over time, gum tissue naturally recedes. This naturally makes teeth more sensitive. Alleviate possible pain while brushing by choosing a toothbrush with soft bristles.
If you have arthritis or a different condition that limits arm and wrist movement, try an electric toothbrush. Don't forget to clean between your teeth with products such as pre-threaded flossers, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth, or a water flosser--whichever is easier!
2) Keep dental work well maintained
Don't wait until you feel pain to check your teeth. As you age, the nerves inside your teeth become smaller and less sensitive. When you feel pain from a cavity, it may be too late and you can lose your tooth.
In your regular appointments, your dentist will look for signs of oral cancer, gum disease, or other serious conditions.
3) Clean your dentures
Not all seniors have dentures, but most people who have dentures are seniors. Just like natural teeth, the longevity of dentures greatly depends on proper care and maintenance.
Bacteria easily adhere to your full or partial dentures. So if you wear them, it's crucial to maintain cleanliness on a daily basis using specialized denture cleaners. Thoroughly rinse and clean them after each meal, avoiding toothpaste or any products not recommended for denture care.
To ensure the health of the lining of your mouth, remove your dentures for a minimum of 4 hours within a 24-hour period, with nighttime removal being the preferred option.
4) Eat a well-balanced meal with the nutrients you need
The foods we eat every day affect our oral health. A healthy and well-balanced diet will not only make you feel good, but it will keep your teeth healthy as well.
Including foods that boost your immune system will help balance the bacteria that stay in your mouth. Foods that can benefit you are garlic, coconut oil, and leafy greens.
We can all have a healthy smile at any age if we develop a plan, stick to a routine, and follow our dental provider's advice. To make an appointment or if you have any questions, please contact us!