People may think that poor oral health is an inevitable consequence of aging, but that’s simply not true. With proper professional care and good home oral hygiene habits, you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums throughout your entire life.
Dental cleanings are an important element of elderly oral health, but there can be some challenges to getting these cleanings, particularly if the patient is not able to leave his or her home easily. Homebound care can be an excellent solution to this problem.
Why are dental cleanings so instrumental for my oral health as I get older?
Older patients get the same benefits from dental cleanings that younger patients do. Dental cleanings help to eliminate plaque and tartar that can accumulate on the teeth and along the gumline. Those substances contain potentially harmful oral bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Furthermore, specialized instruments are used in a professional cleaning to remove tartar. It is impossible to remove tartar by brushing and flossing alone.
Because elderly oral health can be influenced by risk factors that are less relevant in younger populations, cleanings take on even more importance for older adults. For example, older adults take more medications, some of which cause dry mouth as a side effect. Having less saliva available to clear away bacteria can give those bacteria an opportunity to proliferate and harm your teeth and gums.
Overcoming Barriers To Dental Care Among Older Adults
Older adults may not be able to easily get to a dentist’s office for exams and cleanings, so we offer homebound care in order to overcome this potential obstacle to dental care. Our portable cleaning equipment is similar to that found in a dental office and is capable of cleaning teeth just as thoroughly. We are even equipped to provide deep cleanings for patients who are showing signs of gum disease, such as pockets in the gums.
We can also provide fluoride treatments to further strengthen the teeth of older adults.
Older adults can also experience physical or cognitive limitations that can interfere with the oral hygiene tasks necessary to preserve oral health. Our team can recommend strategies to work around those limitations in order for patients or their caregivers to continue to maintain good oral hygiene practices.
Are you an older adult who wants to optimize your oral health, or are you caring for an elderly relative in need of dental care? Call our office and speak to one of our friendly staff members to learn more about options for homebound care.