In regards to oral care, the specifics may seem self-explanatory, but there are a few instances where more needs to be understood about certain aspects of oral care in order to prove the most meaningful. Geriatric oral care, for example, is managed much differently than oral care for individuals in their twenties or thirties.
Not only is the oral hygiene process for seniors more extensive than other age groups, it requires more involvement from a dental professional. As individuals enter into their sixties, they are more susceptible to dental complications, which is why preventative care becomes invaluable and active maintenance paramount to the health of a senior’s teeth and gums.
This isn’t just important to preserve teeth and gum health, it will prove advantageous in protecting their entire quality of life, from mental soundness to physical longevity. Because seniors require such specific care, many don’t fully understand all that entails. Here are the top 4 questions that adult children want to know about geriatric care:
1. Why do teeth and gum health change so drastically in seniors?
While we want to believe that if we take careful care of our teeth and gums throughout all stages of life, they won’t need to be tended to as vigorously later in life. Preventative care will prove fruitful in oral health, but there are biological factors beyond our control that affect teeth and gums. The oral mucosa in our mouths, for example, diminishes as we get older, which means that the barrier that once protected your teeth gradually begins to disappear. Teeth also become more brittle as the enamel wears down from chemicals and from years of brushing one’s teeth.
2. Will poor oral care negatively affect other areas of their life?
Good oral hygiene is not simply to protect the look of teeth and gums. Later in life, poor oral hygiene gives way to a plethora of more serious complications like cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and high blood pressure.
3. Does preventative care look different for seniors than it does other age groups?
Preventative care is still important later in life. Brushing and flossing twice a day, rinsing with antiseptic mouthwash daily, having a healthy diet – these should be a part of everyone’sdaily routine. Seniors, however, require a bit more maintenance. Seeing a dentist more frequently will not only prove beneficial to protecting teeth, but your dentist will be able to spot problems before they worsen.
4. How can dental care be more accessible?
One of the biggest issues surrounding geriatric oral care is the fact that many senior patients simply do not have the ability to get to a traditional dentist’s office. Onsite Dentists Of Texaswas founded to serve this population. It is important that all seniors have access to the same dental care that’s accessible to everyone else. For this reason, we have made it possible to bring a full dentist’s office to them, working with their nursing home or assisted living facility to make routine cleanings and special procedures available to them when they need it.