Seniors often experience changes in their oral health that require them to alter their current hygiene routines. Getting dentures or implants might require special cleaning methods. Taking a new medication could impact the frequency of cavities. These basic oral hygiene tips can help seniors keep their teeth and gums healthy as they age.
Learn the Correct Technique
Some seniors grew up being taught that brushing their teeth harder is better. However, this has the damaging effect of eroding tooth enamel. Seniors might need to be shown how to brush with more gentle strokes. Those with dental implants may also need to revise their flossing techniques to get around the posts.
Set a Toothbrushing Reminder
Seniors typically want to take care of their teeth, but they might sometimes forget to complete their oral hygiene routines. Setting an alarm is a great way to remind a senior to brush his or her teeth before bed or after breakfast. Caregivers can also guide seniors with severe memory loss through each step of their oral hygiene routines.
Try Using Hygiene Aids
Many seniors develop health issues that affect their mobility. A senior with stiff hands or wrists might not be able to perform the necessary movements to brush or floss thoroughly. Oral hygiene aids include toothbrushes with straps that fit over the hands or specially designed handles that are more ergonomic. You can even wrap a foam tube around a toothbrush handle to give your loved one a better grip.
If your loved one has mobility issues, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Mesa elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Avoid Damaging Habits
Sugar is known to cause cavities, and limiting the amount of sugar they consume can help seniors prevent tooth decay. Tooth grinding can also begin in the senior years, and wearing a night guard can protect teeth with thinner enamel. Quitting smoking also restores blood flow to the gums so the teeth remain firmly anchored in place.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust at-home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Take Care of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be caused by medications, mouth breathing, and autoimmune diseases that impact the salivary glands. If there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth to wash away food debris, bacteria can build up quickly. Seniors with dry mouth can drink more water and use special mouth rinses to stimulate saliva production and prevent cavities.
Create an Oral Hygiene Station
Oral hygiene gets more complicated for seniors who use special cleaning products and adhesives for their dentures. Seniors might also use products such as prescription mouthwashes during their oral hygiene routines. Keeping all these things in one place and organized makes it more likely that your loved one will use them appropriately each day.
Consider More Frequent Dental Appointments
Older adults may need to see their dentists more often. More frequent cleanings can make up for being unable to brush and floss well enough to clean teeth thoroughly. Dentists are also more likely to catch developing problems early in seniors who see them often. If your loved one needs help getting to and from the dentist, provide transportation to help him or her stay on top of his or her oral health.
Oral health conditions are relatively common among seniors. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Mesa seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (480) 699-4899 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.