Oral hygiene should be a focus at every age, but even more so for seniors. Adults that are 65 years or older have a higher risk of developing oral cancer, periodontal disease, and cavities.
Age is not an excuse to neglect oral hygiene. If oral hygiene is a priority throughout your lifetime, you have already taken the necessary preventative measures in avoiding future complications that will be more difficult to eradicate as they get more severe. However, even if oral hygiene wasn’t a focus, it is never too late to seek help in order to reverse dental issues that have arisen out of neglect. Once these issues are dealt with, it’s important to maintain oral health moving forward.
In nursing homes and long-term care facilities, there have been recent concerns that seniors are not receiving the proper oral care that they both need and are entitled to. Neglecting oral hygiene contributes to severe gum disease, which causes a variety of other life-threatening health conditions. It would be easier to implement proper oral hygiene and care for your teeth and gums than it would be to handle more formidable medical complications.
Maintain oral hygiene with these 4 tips for better oral care:
1. If it’s not good for you, stop doing it.
The link between smoking tobacco and consuming sugary foods with poor oral hygiene is irrefutable. Make it a goal for yourself to begin cutting ties with these dangerous products by using them more infrequently, with the intention of eventually removing them from your life altogether. Not only will this benefit a senior’s health, but it will be advantageous for their physical health as well.
2. Be persistent in caring for your teeth and gums.
At the very minimum, you should brush your teeth at least twice per day. But that isn’t even enough to be considered adequate care anymore. Additionally, you should be flossing at least once per day and using an antibacterial mouthwash frequently.
3. Drink water to stay hydrated.
Due to age and health concerns, seniors are often prescribed medication they must take daily. A side effect of a lot medications is dry mouth, which can cause more oral problems. Drink water throughout the day to keep your mouth as hydrated as possible.
4. See a dentist regularly.
Schedule routine visits with your dentist. Not only can they provide additional care you are unable to do yourself, but they are trained to spot serious oral issues before they worsen. For individuals who do not have the physical capability to make it to a dentist’s office, consider contacting Onsite Dentists Of Texas! We bring comprehensive care to seniors who are in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities.