As people age, the wear and tear on their bodies becomes more apparent. Maintaining oral health is one important aspect related to general health and well being in the golden years. In addition to receiving regular dental exams and cleanings, these four steps will help keep teeth healthy and looking their best.
Fluoride is a natural mineral which hardens tooth enamel. However, it is common for the enamel on teeth to erode naturally over the years because of lifestyle choices as well as acidic foods and beverages. Using a fluoride toothpaste and rinse can help harden the enamel on aging teeth to protect them.
It is natural for seniors to frequent the restroom more often as they age and as a result, they typically try to limit their water intake. Under the circumstances, this is understandable, but it is important to stay hydrated. Drinking water washes away food particles in the oral cavity and prevents dry mouth. Dry mouth gives bacteria a warm and dry place to cultivate. Saliva is a natural mouthwash and staying hydrated allows it to do its job.
This is a simple task which can be completed in less than a minute, but it is often the most overlooked. Flossing removes small food particles and debris from between teeth before they can cause problems. It also inhibits the growth of bacteria and plaque from places a toothbrush can’t reach. It is perhaps the single most important step aside from daily brushing.
Use a soft bristle toothbrush and change it out quarterly. Replacing a toothbrush or brush head every three to four months ensures that you are using a clean and effective tool to brush your teeth and gums. This will also help inhibit the growth of oral bacteria.
If you have questions about elderly oral health, call our team at HomeCare Dentists today. Our experienced staff is available to answer your questions and help you maintain your best oral health as you enjoy your senior years.