5 dental care tips for the elder
Dental care is an important part of oral health for all ages but there may be additional considerations for seniors. Today we’d like to cover 5 dental care tips for our elders.
- Brush for 2-3 minutes, at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. If arthritis or other mobility issues make using a regular toothbrush uncomfortable, try using a battery-operated brush. Toothbrushes should be switched out for new ones every 3-4 months.
- Flossing is an important part of a daily dental care routine. Aim for once a day, using floss or tape. Some find flossing difficult and may find it easier to use a floss-holder or a water pick, which uses water to flush the areas between the teeth.
- An antibacterial mouthwash helps to kill any remaining bacterial dislodged by brushing and flossing. Once or twice a day is enough to ensure a clean mouth.
- Aging can cause a dry mouth, sometimes due to medication, menopause, or other issues. Having a dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and erosion of tooth enamel. Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Taking small sips of water throughout the day helps.
- Schedule regular visits for dental exams and cleaning every 6 months. These will help stay ahead of problems. If issues like sores, bumps, pain, swelling or bleeding occur in the mouth, see a dentist to get it checked right away.
These tips are for those still sporting their natural teeth, as well as for those with dentures, bridges and implants. If you are a caregiver for an eldery relative or friend, the CDC offers some tips to help with looking after their dental care in between visits with the dentist and hygienist.