6 oral hygiene tips for seniors
April 30, 2012
Perhaps the best way to protect your loved ones from illness and injury is investing in a medical alert system from Bay Alarm. At the push of a button, a medical alarm will get your relative immediate help in the event of an emergency. However, preventative measures are often the keys to ensuring that your loved one is healthy and happy, and oral hygiene is at the forefront. Research has shown that there's a connection between between dental health and a number of conditions, which means brushing and flossing has never been more important. Here are some tips to help you out.
1. Brush regularly. While twice a day may seem sufficient, many dentists recommend brushing after every meal to remove the risk of stains, plaque and other debris that could cause problems like gum disease and cavities. Make sure the toothpaste your loved one is using contains fluoride.
2. Floss. Flossing is just as important as brushing, as a toothbrush's bristles can't get into the tiny crevices on top of each tooth and in between them. With today's disposable flossers, the task has never been easier.
3. Soothe sensitivity. As we age, our gums naturally recede, exposing areas of the teeth that aren't protected by tooth enamel. As a result, pain from hot or cold foods can be a problem. Try having your relative brush with an anti-sensitivity toothpaste if he or she experiences pain, and talk to a dentist if the problem persists.
4. Look out for dry mouth. Dry mouth is often a problem for seniors, and there are many medications that can make the sensation worse. A lack of saliva can have negative effects on the teeth, but a dentist can treat and prevent the condition easily.
5. Take care of dentures. Many seniors have dentures, and it's important to keep them in tip-top shape by carefully following the instructions that your relative's dentist provided. Make sure that the dentures fit properly to avoid potential issues down the line, and get an annual check-up to ensure that everything's okay.
6. Schedule regular appointments. Your loved one should see a dentist regularly for cleanings and oral exams. This will ensure that any small problems can be found and addressed before they become more serious.