5 Ways Seniors Can Benefit From Dental Care And Hygiene
How do your senior loved ones care for their teeth and gums? Can they do dental care practices by themselves or do they need assistance?
Dental care and hygiene are important aspects of maintaining one’s health and wellness. But, as people age, they may neglect their oral health due to weakness, sickness, and other reasons. As a result, seniors tend to develop dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease, due to poor dental hygiene.
In this article, you’ll learn the different ways seniors can benefit from dental care and hygiene.
- Improved Dental Health
Because seniors tend to neglect their oral health, they can develop dental problems quickly. That’s why it’s essential to consult a quality family dentistry expert to determine how you can help your senior loved one improve their dental health. A qualified and experienced dentist can provide expert advice on how to improve the dental care and hygiene of senior citizens.
- Better Smile
Seniors usually have missing, discolored, and damaged teeth. All of these conditions can affect their smile, restricting them from fully expressing themselves. To achieve better smile, seniors should implement good oral hygiene, such as the following:
- Regular Brushing: Advise your senior loved ones to brush their teeth using a toothpaste with fluoride at least twice a day. It will help prevent tooth problems and gum disease. Provide a soft to medium toothbrush for your senior loved ones to use. Remind replacing their toothbrush every three months.
- Flossing: Flossing removes food particles and bacteria in between teeth to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and infections. Unfortunately, many seniors have either stopped flossing or never flossed as they got older. Family members can help their senior loved ones create a dental health routine, including brushing, flossing, and using a protective mouthwash.
- Helps Avoid Other Dental Issues
The most common dental health problems that seniors face include tooth decay, gum disease, and missing teeth or permanent absence of teeth. Therefore, they need to wear dentures to help chew the food they eat.
You need to make sure that dentures are comfortable and fit well. Cleaning dentures include using a non-abrasive product. Dentures should be left in a denture cleansing solution or in water for at least four hours daily or overnight. Seniors should keep their dentures clean to avoid bad breath, teeth stains, and swollen gums. After removing the dentures, seniors should gently brush their tongue, palate, and gums using a soft toothbrush.
Good dental care and hygiene can help avoid the common dental problems that seniors face, such as the following:
- Darkened or stained teeth
- Tooth loss
- Dry mouth
- Diminished sense of taste or ageusia
- Tooth root decay
- Gum disease
- Denture-induced stomatitis (sore or inflamed mouth)
- Uneven jawbone
- Obtain Adequate Nutrition
Proper dental care practices can help seniors obtain the right nutrients they need from food. If elderly people have missing teeth, they can’t take in any food they want. They tend to choose softer foods and omit hard-to-chew food. This means that their dietary intake is also restricted.
With food restriction, senior citizens may not obtain the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals their bodies need. Hence, they can suffer from micro- or macronutrient deficiency.
Dentists can help seniors resolve oral problems to help them get the right nutrition they need by fixing teeth and gum problems. They can perform certain dental procedures, such as dental implants for seniors, for them to be able to eat properly again.
- Makes Seniors Happy
Elderly people who suffer from dental health problems tend to withdraw from social activities because of pain and being concerned about how they look. That’s why it’s important for caregivers to ensure that seniors receive the right dental care treatment with the help of a qualified family dentist.
Good dental care and hygiene can make seniors happy. Because they're pain-free, as well as feel more comfortable and cleaner, they have more increased self-confidence than before. A family dentist can help family members learn how to care for the oral health of their senior loved ones.
Of course, when elderly people are happy, they also feel better. Hence, they feel less lonely and depressed. They’re more receptive to various activities, including social interactions and community participation, allowing them to enjoy the rest of their lives.
Seniors need to maintain good dental health by practicing proper oral hygiene for improved quality of life. Dental care and hygiene can help seniors have a better smile and ingest their food properly to get the adequate nutrition they need. In addition, good dental practices can boost their morale and self-confidence, making them happier older adults during their retirement years.