6 Tips to Keep your Mouth Healthy into the ‘Senior’ Years

As you get older, your teeth and gums inevitably have more "wear" than when you are younger. This means you really need to be more aware of oral health and take the necessary steps to keep your teeth and gums clean. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for approximately two minutes. It is important to brush gently, with a soft-bristled brush, but not brush excessively. Brushing too hard (or using a toothpaste that is too abrasive) can really wear down the enamel on your teeth. Here are a few other tips:

Floss Every Day

Flossing is such a simple habit, yet many people don't. For those that do floss, it is also easy to fall out of the habit. Flossing removes small particles of food, debris, and bacteria from between the teeth, and can be done in less than a minute. If you’ve never made flossing part of your daily oral hygiene routine (or if you have lapsed), (re)start now.

Dentures Need to be Cleaned Thoroughly

Many older people are choosing to replace their removable dentures with fixed dentures or dental implants. However, if you currently use a removable denture, it is still important to clean them daily. Bacteria or dirt in your dentures will come into contact with your gums, which could increase your chances of getting gum disease. Remember, even if you already have gum disease, you still have to take care of your dentures properly, since gum disease can quickly accelerate to a more advanced stage called periodontal disease, which in turn can lead to a wide variety of problems of health.

Stay Hydrated (Avoid Dry Mouth)

It is not uncommon for older people (especially men) to use the bathroom more in their… advanced years. As a result, some seniors actively try to drink less so they don't have to go as often. While this is certainly understandable, staying properly hydrated is not only important for overall health but also important for dental health. In addition to increasing your water intake, you may want to talk to your general practitioner to see if any of your medications can cause dry mouth and if there are other alternative medications that can replace them and try it. If you are missing one or more teeth, discuss dental implants with a dentist. As we see daily in our dental clinic, many older people lack one or more teeth. In some cases, this is due to years of poor dental hygiene, and in other cases, it can simply be attributed to wear and tear over the years, as well as genetics.

Have You Been to the Dental Clinic Lately?

If you are an older adult living and have not been to the dentist in a while, now is the perfect time to go ahead and schedule your next appointment at Parkview Dental. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Dr. Brandon Schmidt | 13-January-2020

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