If you’re an older adult who has resigned yourself to oral health issues such as gum disease and tooth loss, think again. It is possible – and desirable – to maintain a healthy, vibrant smile for your entire lifespan.
Many aspects of good oral health care don’t change as you get older, such as a robust home oral hygiene routine and getting preventive dental care. However, there are factors unique to older adults that merit special attention, as well.
Basic Techniques for Maintaining Your Smile Don’t Change As You Age
The foundation of elderly oral health is indistinguishable from good oral hygiene habits in younger adults. Start with the basics: brushing and flossing. Brush twice a day for two minutes at a time, using a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to floss before one of those brushing sessions.
You should also be seeing your dentist at least twice each year for preventive cleanings and exams. These periodic screenings can identify oral health issues, like cavities and gum disease, in their earliest stages when they respond well to treatment. These exams also include oral cancer screenings.
Unique Considerations for Oral Health In Older Adults
While aging doesn’t automatically bring on oral health concerns, there may be some special considerations for protecting elderly oral health. They include:
- Increased use of medications in older adults can cause dry mouth (xerostomia), a condition that can give oral bacteria the opportunity to proliferate.
- Limited mobility can prevent seniors from getting to their dentist for routine cleanings and checkups, along with other treatments. Homebound care for dental patients can help overcome this potential barrier to good oral health as you age.
- Conditions that affect a patient’s dexterity, such as arthritis, can make it more challenging to perform routine oral hygiene tasks effectively.
- Cognitive impairments can affect a patient’s ability to perform daily hygiene routines.
We have expertise in working with older adults to develop oral health care plans to keep your smile as healthy as possible despite these potential obstacles.
If you are an older adult who wants to preserve their smile, take advantage of our expertise in elderly oral health. Homebound care is our specialty, so we can bring the dental office to you. Call to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.