More people are living longer than ever before and with modern advances in oral care, these people are retaining their natural teeth for longer. Where once we could reasonably expect to have full dentures in our later years, today it’s entirely possible to get well into old age with many of our original teeth in great shape.
Oral Health Tips for Seniors
You don’t need to brush in the bathroom.
For most of your life you’ve probably brushed your teeth morning and night over the bathroom sink. If standing to brush is getting difficult, you can just as easily clean your teeth sitting at a table with a bowl, a cup of water, and a towel.
You don’t need (much) toothpaste.
Toothpaste is a great addition to brushing, but the most important part is actually the mechanical motion of sweeping the teeth. This is what removes the particles and debris that feed tooth decay and gum disease. If you struggle to spit or swallow, just use a wet toothbrush to clean your teeth.
You’ll need a different toothbrush.
Most of your life you’ll use a medium bristle brush, but now you’ll want to switch back to a soft bristle one. You can find toothbrushes with specially-designed easy-grip handles as well.
Remove dentures and partial dentures before cleaning.
This is important. You not only need to clean the dentures, but the gum underneath the denture. People who don’t take their dentures out to clean end up with many unfortunate oral health problems later on.
Get oral cancer screening checks.
You should be doing this already as part of a regular check, but be sure to ask your dentist and have it be part of your routine.
Get treatment if you suffer from dry mouth.
Saliva is very important to the remineralization of teeth, and protecting from disease. If your saliva production drops, get treatment. A dry mouth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Don’t skip your regular check and cleans.
Especially when people have complete dentures, it can be tempting to think you don’t need regular dental checkups. This isn’t the case! It’s still the best option to see your dentist regularly and monitor your oral health, even if you don’t have any teeth.