The Senior’s Guide to Dental Care

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Dental health is vitally important to people of all ages; however, its importance increases significantly for seniors as any dental issues could exacerbate other medical problems like diabetes or heart disease.

Appropriate dental care for seniors can be challenging. This article highlights some of the reasons for this and provides advice to avoid common senior dental issues.

Schedule Regular Checkups

Routine dental visits are important for all individuals, but especially for seniors. A dentist can support at-home cleaning efforts while also detecting early warning signs like gum disease or tooth decay that could otherwise develop into more serious health conditions over time.

As soon as issues such as gum disease are detected early, treatment becomes much simpler and less costly. Gum disease, for instance, can often be reversed before progressing into periodontitis or leading to tooth loss.

Dental checkups can also detect and treat medical conditions that impact oral health, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, which could be signs of more serious conditions like heart disease or cancer. Seniors can take this opportunity to ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date; many employers include dental coverage as part of their benefits package which makes obtaining coverage very cost-effective.

Brush Daily

Oral hygiene is vital at any age, but particularly as we get older. Your mouth serves as a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause infections throughout your body; regular dental visits will help control it.

If seniors experience discomfort in their teeth or gums, such as pain, bleeding, or swelling, it is recommended that they visit a dentist immediately for treatment. Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush is also vital, and flossing daily and using an antiseptic mouthwash will further decrease bacteria levels in the mouth.

Drinking plenty of water can stimulate saliva flow and wash away food particles that could contribute to tooth decay. Denture wearers should take particular care in taking out and cleaning their dentures before placing them back into their mouths. Brushing all areas of the mouth including the roof and sides of the tongue is vitally important in maintaining good dental health.

Floss Daily

Flossing can help remove food debris that a toothbrush cannot, helping prevent tartar build-up and thus helping prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

Seniors often struggle with making flossing part of their daily routine, especially those who have dental bridges or implants. Dental hygienists can provide detailed instructions on the most effective ways to floss these specific types of teeth.

At nighttime, it is wise to floss your teeth to ensure no food remains trapped between your teeth overnight. Use a small section of floss to gently clean each side and under the gum line with each tooth; avoid forcing the floss between teeth as this could cause irritation. After flossing is complete, carefully slide out used strand and unwind a fresh one; pay extra attention when flossing molars which often have tight spaces that make this task challenging; one technique is bending C-shape around one tooth then sliding five times up and down for better control when trying this task!

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Dentists are experts on human mouths and can offer personalized guidance when it comes to caring for your teeth. They can demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques as well as provide tips for maintaining a healthy diet.

Regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and checkups will ensure your teeth and gums remain in optimal health, with any potential problems identified early and treated before they become serious.

At regular dental appointments, both a dentist and hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and below the gumline, helping prevent gum disease, tooth decay and other common dental conditions.

An oral cancer screening by a dentist can detect this potentially life-threatening illness early, as its early stages may present no noticeable symptoms.


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I'm Alice and I live with a dizzying assortment of invisible disabilities, including ADHD and fibromyalgia. I write to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental and chronic illnesses of all kinds. 

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