Taking care of teeth does not only mean having a beautiful smile. Dental health extends beyond those pearly whites and that is why people, most especially seniors, should take good care of their teeth. Here are a few dental hygiene tips that can make them smile in the coming years.
Clean dental implants
About 75% of seniors who are at least 60 years old no long have a whole set of natural teeth. Most of them have artificial teeth like crowns, dental implants or dentures. It is imperative to care for these latest smile accessories to make sure they last long. Since dentures and implants are not made of the same materials as teeth, they need to be maintained more than just merely brushing them.
When their dentist talks to them about the proper care tips, they should listen and follow their advice. These include, removing retainers that comes with an attached false tooth before eating and soaking dentures in cleaning solution while sleeping at night. They should also bring a container with them so these will not be thrown by accident.
Ask the dentist about prescriptions
It is natural for seniors to have a dry mouth. As people get older, their saliva glands do not produce enough amounts of saliva to lubricate the mouth. This can harm their teeth and also affect their digestion. There are instances when some medications tend to cause a dry mouth so it is important to mention this to their doctor when they are suffering from this side effect.
Follow a regular routine
There are times when people forget to brush their teeth especially when they are too busy or tired. If this happens more often than not, dental health is neglected and this places them at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. So, they should include tooth care in their daily routine so they will not forget to brush and floss. If they make this a habit they will most likely remember.
Use assistive tools
A lot of seniors suffer from arthritis. This is a painful chronic condition that can make simple tasks like flossing a lot more challenging. Thanks to these new dental tools, practicing proper hygiene is gentler to the hands and wrists. Rather than pulling tooth floss from a container, they can use tooth picks that come with a toothbrush-like handle but have a wiry end to get in between teeth. Or else, they can floss holding the string in place to avoid struggling with their fingers.
When it comes to toothbrushes, they can go for those with thicker, rubber grips that make them easier to hold as compared to their thin plastic equivalent. It is also best to use toothbrushes that have soft bristles that are gentle and won’t harm the gums. Also, the teeth of seniors have become more sensitive to heat and cold as they grew older. As a solution, they can use all-natural toothpaste that is designed for sensitive teeth.