Have you been giving your daily oral hygiene routine the attention it deserves? If not, your smile may be suffering. Daily brushing and flossing is just as important for elderly oral health as it is in younger patients, if not more so.
Of course, your oral hygiene regimen is merely one component of maintaining a healthy smile. Be sure that you’re doing everything possible, including getting appropriate professional dental care, to keep your smile in optimal shape.
The Basics of A Daily Oral Hygiene Regimen
Most people are familiar with these common hygiene practices:
- Mouthwash (may be helpful for patients who are particularly prone to bacteria buildup)
It’s important to keep in mind that older adults may face unique challenges in performing their oral hygiene habits. For example, arthritis can make it difficult for you to brush and floss thoroughly. Medications that cause dry mouth can make you more susceptible to cavities and gum disease.
Work with your dentist to develop a plan to promote your oral health with special consideration for any unique circumstances that might affect your ability to manage your oral hygiene routine.
Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Keeping your smile as healthy as possible throughout your lifetime is well within reach, and when you dedicate yourself to this effort, you can gain the following benefits
- Reduced risk of oral diseases
- More attractive smile
- Improved overall health
That last point deserves some emphasis. The effects of poor oral health reach well beyond your smile. Many systemic conditions, such as diabetes, appear to have some sort of relationship with oral diseases, although those mechanisms are not clearly understood.
Therefore, it’s essential to take care of your smile as you get older by practicing all of the good oral hygiene habits you established in your younger years.
Be Sure to Supplement with Preventive Care from The Pros
Of course, you still need to see a dentist regularly in addition to performing your daily oral hygiene routine. Patients should see their dentists for routine exams and cleanings at least twice a year. If you have trouble getting out to appointments, look into your options for homebound care.
This type of preventive care helps to keep your teeth as clean as possible and gives you the best chance of catching any oral diseases. If it has been more than six months since your last checkup, call us to schedule an appointment.